The year was 2007. Microsoft was as dominant force as ever in the tech industry. Bill Gates was the company's chief software architect. Windows Vista was on its first year. Internet Explorer was the top web browser and the Xbox 360 was proving naysayers wrong. Apple was back in the game, the iPod was immensely successful. Steve Jobs had unveiled the iPhone earlier that year but it was still months away from actual release. Unfortunately Steve had already been diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
The two tech icons took the stage together at the now defunct D Conference to talk about their lives and their companies as rivals and partners, and the future of technology as seen from their unique perspectives.
This was a highly unusual event and one that should be remembered fondly. Jobs was wearing his trademark black turtleneck and jeans. At one point he noted that in their early meetings, the two were often the youngest people in the room and then they were often the oldest. About a year after that appearance, Bill Gates retired from this daily Microsoft duties to devote more time to philanthropy.