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Steve Jobs’s biographer says ‘thermonuclear’ anger at Google was real

Dan Graziano
April 5th, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Walter Isaacson, the man behind the authorized Steve Jobs biography, said while speaking at the Royal Institution on Wednesday that he disagreed with Google CEO Larry Page, and Jobs’s hatred for Android was real, Macworld reported. In an earlier interview, Page indicated that the Android, Apple feud was just “for show” and merely a way to rally the troops. The CEO mentioned how he “had a relationship with Steve” and despite his declining health at the time, Apple’s co-founder reached out to him for a casual talk. Isaacson, however, outlined why Jobs felt such “thermonuclear” anger towards Google’s “stolen product.”

Isaacson explained that Jobs believed in a closed system, where Apple controls the hardware along with the software. When Microsoft founder Bill Gates took Apple’s graphical user interface and licensed it out “promiscuously,” Jobs was livid and as a result, “Microsoft ended up being dominant.” When Jobs returned to Apple as its CEO, he again focused on a closed system, which found success with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, “but what happens? Google rips it off,” Isaacson said.

The biographer continued, “It’s almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you.’ “

Isaacson believes that Apple CEO Tim Cook will handle things differently than Jobs would have. “Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit,” he concluded.

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