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Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates comic is a multipane exploitable series illustrating a brief exchange between the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. The series gained attention from various Interent humor and technology communities due to the two companies’ often publicized rivalry in computer hardware / software industry, which had been previously illustrated through the classic Mac vs. PC debate.
The original photographs were taken during the D: All Things Digital conference (D5) held on May 31st, 2007 in California. The D5 conference focused on how Microsoft and Apple came to be some of the world’s most influential companies and the growing scale of competition between the two companies. As part of the event, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were interviewed by All Things Digital co-executive editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
The iconic photograph of Gates and Jobs laughing together was taken by Joi Ito and uploaded via Flickr on the same day. However, the earliest known instance of multi-pane comic was posted years later by the Internet humor blog Sad and Useless on May 16th, 2010.
The series quickly spread through the grapevines of blogosphere in the following days and the blank template was picked up by a number of blogs and online communities like Reddit, NowPublic, Quickmeme and Memebase among others. Throughout May 2010, hundreds of derivatives were created.
The popularity of the series eventually reached a plateau, but it saw a resurgence over a year later in October 2011 when Apple released a statement that its former CEO has passed away. Upon hearing the news of Steve Jobs’ death, various blogs and communities including 4chan, Reddit and BuzzFeed featured the multi-pane series in remembrance of Jobs’ accomplishments.