Steve Jobs or Bill Gates – Who made a greater impact on technology?

Although Apple’s brand is ubiquitous with innovation and its founder, Steve Jobs, has been immortalized in films as a futuristic tech genius, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame will be known as the man who made the greatest impact on technological availability and its evolution in the 20th century and beyond.

At his core, Jobs was not a tech genius. That distinction should be given to Steve Wozniak. Jobs was an intuitive marketer who was able to provide his customers with sleek, trendy gadgets and aesthetically pleasing machines. Microsoft and the Windows OS, however, made technology readily available to everyone. This availability ushered in a technological age that fostered young tech minds and made computing approachable to the common lay person. This technological pragmatism has done more to advance computing on a global scale than Apple’s release of good looking devices.

We can also thank Gates for these good looking devices. In 1997, Gates gave Apple a $150 million infusion in 1997 when Jobs returned to Apple after a hiatus. Without this generous gesture, we may not have our iPhones, iPads, and iPods today.

Additionally, Bill Gates’ philanthropic work places him above Jobs in terms of greater positive global impact. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has gifted desperately needed aid to struggling third world nations. In contrast, Jobs entirely cut philanthropic work from Apple for undisclosed reasons. The lives that Bill Gates’ $38 billion endowment has saved cannot be measured and will further solidify his legacy as the most influential tech guru in modern history.