When the Macintosh was first being developed, Jobs went up to visit Gates at his office near Seattle.
Microsoft had written some applications for the Apple II, including a spreadsheet program called Multiplan,
and Jobs wanted to excite Gates and Co. about doing even more for the forthcoming Macintosh.
Sitting in Gates's conference room, Jobs spun an enticing vision of a computer for the masses,
with a friendly interface, which would be churned out by the millions in an automated California factory.
His description of the dream factory sucking in the California silicon components
and turning out finished Macintoshes caused the Microsoft team to code-name the project "Sand."
They even reverse-engineered it into an acronym, for "Steve's amazing new device."
Gates had launched Microsoft by writing a version of BASIC, a programming language, for the Altair.
Jobs wanted Microsoft to write a version of BASIC for the Macintosh,
because Wozniak--despite much prodding by Jobs--had never enhanced his version of the Apple II's BASIC to handle floating-point numbers.
In addition, Jobs wanted Microsoft to write application software--such as word processing and spreadsheet programs--for the Macintosh.
At the time, Jobs was a king and Gates still a courtier:
In 1982 Apple's annual sales were $1 billion, while Microsoft's were a mere $32 million.
Gates signed on to do graphical versions of a new spreadsheet called Excel, a word-processing program called Word, and BASIC.
Gates frequently went to Cupertino for demonstrations of the Macintosh operating system, and he was not very impressed.
"I remember the first time we went down, Steve had this app where it was just things bouncing around on the screen," he said.
"That was the only app that ran."
Gates was also put off by Jobs's attitude.
"It was kind of a weird seduction visit, where Steve was saying,
'We don't really need you and we're doing this great thing, and it's under the cover.'
He's in his Steve Jobs sales mode, but kind of the sales mode that also says, 'I don't need you, but I might let you be involved.'"
The Macintosh pirates found Gates hard to take.
"You could tell that Bill Gates was not a very good listener.
He couldn't bear to have anyone explain how something worked to him
he had to leap ahead instead and guess about how he thought it would work," Hertzfeld recalled.
They showed him how the Macintosh's cursor moved smoothly across the screen without flickering.
"What kind of hardware do you use to draw the cursor?" Gates asked.
Hertzfeld, who took great pride that they could achieve their functionality solely using software, replied,
"We don't have any special hardware for it!"
Gates insisted that it was necessary to have special hardware to move the cursor that way.
"So what do you say to somebody like that?" Bruce Horn, one of the Macintosh engineers, later said.
"It made it clear to me that Gates was not the kind of person that would understand or appreciate the elegance of a Macintosh."