The awesome time Jobs and Gates played “The Mac Dating Game”

Apple keynotes are slick, professional affairs with much chin-stroking and little overt laughter (at least, unless Craig Federighi is presenting), right? Well, when you look at the Apple of the second Steve Jobs era, that’s definitely true. But it wasn’t always the case.

Back in the early-Jobsian era, before his ousting from the company by John Sculley, Jobs was a little more playful about what appeared on stage. In fact, some might say that his tastes were a little less developed. Some might even go so far as to say he was a bit more… weird.

Exhibit A: this clip from Apple’s 1983 sales conference. This was the same event where the seminal Mac “1984” advert got its first public airing, but I think the sight of Bill Gates, Fred Gibbons and Mitch Kapor up on stage falling over each other to talk about their commitment to the Mac is the highlight.

Despite the humourous context, Gates attempts valiantly to talk seriously about how much software Microsoft is going to make for the Mac (and how much money he’s going to make from it). 

The whole thing comes across as more than a bit shambolic in retrospect, although given that the audience consisted of Apple sales people they probably enjoyed it. 

But there is one little touch of Jobsian attention to detail: note the colours of the developers’ polo shirts…

NOW WATCH THIS: Here’s how Steve Jobs smacked down Michael Dell on stage.

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