Jobs vowed to destroy Android in "thermonuclear war"

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Steve Jobs vowed to wage "thermonuclear war" on Google, threatening to destroy an Android platform he saw as nothing short of "grand theft", according to leaked revelations from Walter Isaacson's much-anticipated biography of Jobs.

In a technology world dominated by humourless executive automatons, Jobs' outburst once again highlights his unique passion and approach to business.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank to right this wrong," he is widely quoted as saying in the book.

Such utterances would, of course, never have been made in public, but it casts an interesting light on just how far the relationship between Apple and Google, and Eric Schmidt and Jobs, had soured.

Schmidt used to sit on the Apple board, before he left in 2009 owing to conflicts of interest.

Apple is currently involved in bitter legal disputes with HTC, Samsung, Motorola and others over alleged patent infringements in Android, and the cases threaten to dominate Jobs' legacy.

On a personal level, there have also been interesting revelations about Jobs' reaction to the news that he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer. According to Isaacson, interviewed on 60 Minutes, Jobs initially refused to be operated on even though it could have saved his life.

"He tries to treat it with diet, he goes to a spiritualist, he goes to various ways of doing it macrobiotically. He doesn't get operated on," said Isaacson in the programme.

"I think he kind of felt that if you don't want something to exist you can have magical thinking and it worked for him in the past. He regretted it."

The book certainly sounds like it could make for fascinating reading when it's launched on 24 October.

21 Oct 2011

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