Bill Gates was chatting with students at Stanford at the time and recalled letters he'd written to Steve Jobs begging him to allow cloning of Apple hardware. Had Mr. Jobs complied, Apple's operating system might have become the de facto universal standard, the one everybody wrote software for—a role that fell to Windows instead.
If you think missing out on the riches that Microsoft created for its shareholders was an error, Mr. Jobs erred. Then again, the Web came along to take the deathly sting out of the battle of the operating systems, and Apple resurrected itself as a maker of tasty computing devices for a segment of the public that valued tastiness.
Historical analogies are one of the cheapest in the columnist's bag of tricks, and a temptation usually to be resisted. But here goes: Isn't Steve Jobs replaying the gamble that almost broke Apple?
Is iPhone/Android the next Mac/Windows?