Despite their mutual wariness,
both teams were excited by the prospect that Microsoft would create graphical software for the Macintosh that would take personal computing into a new realm,
and they went to dinner at a fancy restaurant to celebrate.
Microsoft soon dedicated a large team to the task.
"We had more people working on the Mac than he did," Gates said.
"He had about fourteen or fifteen people. We had like twenty people. We really bet our life on it."
And even though Jobs thought that they didn't exhibit much taste, the Microsoft programmers were persistent.
"They came out with applications that were terrible," Jobs recalled, "but they kept at it and they made them better."
Eventually Jobs became so enamored of Excel that he made a secret bargain with Gates:
If Microsoft would make Excel exclusively for the Macintosh for two years, and not make a version for IBM PCs,
then Jobs would shut down his team working on a version of BASIC for the Macintosh
and instead indefinitely license Microsoft's BASIC.
Gates smartly took the deal,
which infuriated the Apple team whose project got canceled and gave Microsoft a lever in future negotiations.
For the time being, Gates and Jobs forged a bond.
That summer they went to a conference hosted by the industry analyst Ben Rosen at a Playboy Club retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin,
where nobody knew about the graphical interfaces that Apple was developing.
"Everybody was acting like the IBM PC was everything, which was nice,
but Steve and I were kind of smiling that, hey, we've got something," Gates recalled.
"And he's kind of leaking, but nobody actually caught on."
Gates became a regular at Apple retreats. "I went to every luau," said Gates. "I was part of the crew."
Gates enjoyed his frequent visits to Cupertino,
where he got to watch Jobs interact erratically with his employees and display his obsessions.
"Steve was in his ultimate pied piper mode,
proclaiming how the Mac will change the world and overworking people like mad,
with incredible tensions and complex personal relationships."
Sometimes Jobs would begin on a high, then lapse into sharing his fears with Gates.
"We'd go down Friday night, have dinner, and Steve would just be promoting that everything is great.
Then the second day, without fail, he'd be kind of, 'Oh shit, is this thing going to sell,
oh God, I have to raise the price, I'm sorry I did that to you, and my team is a bunch of idiots.'"
Gates saw Jobs's reality distortion field at play when the Xerox Star was launched.
At a joint team dinner one Friday night, Jobs asked Gates how many Stars had been sold thus far. Gates said six hundred.
The next day, in front of Gates and the whole team, Jobs said that three hundred Stars had been sold,
forgetting that Gates had just told everyone it was actually six hundred.
"So his whole team starts looking at me like, 'Are you going to tell him that he's full of shit?'" Gates recalled.
"And in that case I didn't take the bait."
On another occasion Jobs and his team were visiting Microsoft and having dinner at the Seattle Tennis Club.
Jobs launched into a sermon about how the Macintosh and its software would be so easy to use that there would be no manuals.
"It was like anybody who ever thought that there would be a manual for any Mac application was the greatest idiot," said Gates.
"And we were like, 'Does he really mean it? Should we not tell him that we have people who are actually working on manuals?'"