So what did Bill Gates think as he watched Jobs, with his closed strategy, go into battle against Google, as he had done against Microsoft twenty-five years earlier?
"There are some benefits to being more closed, in terms of how much you control the experience,
and certainly at times he's had the benefit of that," Gates told me.
But refusing to license the Apple iOS, he added, gave competitors like Android the chance to gain greater volume.
In addition, he argued, competition among a variety of devices and manufacturers leads to greater consumer choice and more innovation.
"These companies are not all building pyramids next to Central Park," he said, poking fun at Apple's Fifth Avenue store,
"but they are coming up with innovations based on competing for consumers."
Most of the improvements in PCs, Gates pointed out, came because consumers had a lot of choices,
and that would someday be the case in the world of mobile devices.
"Eventually, I think, open will succeed, but that's where I come from. In the long run, the coherence thing, you can't stay with that."
Jobs believed in "the coherence thing."
His faith in a controlled and closed environment remained unwavering, even as Android gained market share.
"Google says we exert more control than they do, that we are closed and they are open," he railed when I told him what Schmidt had said.
"Well, look at the results -- Android's a mess. It has different screen sizes and versions, over a hundred permutations."
Even if Google's approach might eventually win in the marketplace, Jobs found it repellent.
"I like being responsible for the whole user experience.
We do it not to make money. We do it because we want to make great products, not crap like Android."