Bill Gates's Microsoft was a long time Apple rival, as well as a respected competitor; the two companies also collaborated many times, including Microsoft's role as one of the original Macintosh third-party developers.
The Telegraph reports that a letter to Steve Jobs from Gates was kept on Jobs's nightstand during the Apple co-founder's final days. Gates and Jobs had met to reminisce and re-connect in the months before Steve's death due to complications from cancer in October 2011.
Gates didn't reveal many details about what was in the letter, but he said, "I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know."
After Jobs died, Gates got a phone call from Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve's widow. She said, "Look, this biography (the Walter Issacson book) really doesn't paint a picture of the mutual respect you had."
She then told Gates that the letter had meant so much to Steve that he kept it by his bed.
Gates appeared in a video interview last week where he also discussed the complex relationship between himself and Steve.
Thanks to Daniel Jalkut.