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Flashback Friday: The Software Dating Game With Steve Jobs & Bill Gates

by Sean P. Aune | August 13, 2010August 13, 2010 2:00 pm PDT

Back in 1983 Apple and Microsoft had a much friendlier relationship than they do these days, and somehow that led to one of the oddest videos of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates ever created.

During an Apple Event that year, Steve Jobs decided to play a Macintosh version of The Dating Game with three CEOs of software companies that sold versions of their software for the fledgling Apple Computers. (In the end he cheats and picks all three of them … a clear breaking with the original concept of the game show)  All the silliness aside, this is actually an interesting historical document for both companies, and the fact that Lotus 1-2-3 was actually relevant of the time.  Unfortunately the video is cut down, but do you really carry to see anyone other than Jobs and Gates?

Gates looks obviously like the nerdiest of those gathered on the stage, and Steve Jobs looks unsettlingly like Noah Wyle who would go on to play him in the television movie Pirates of Silicon Valley.  To end the video, Jobs says he needs all of the companies present, and isn’t it amazing how quickly that changed between the two titans of the tech world?

It’s a little slice of tech history, what this whole series of posts is about, and fun to think, “Gee, could you ever see Steve Jobs doing this now?”  I’m going with a big old, “no.”

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...