Bill Gates: I helped Steve Jobs invent the Apple Mac

While it seems unlikely that Steve Jobs would have agrees with him, Bill Gates has fired back at his former technology opponent after the Apple founder's authorised biography made disparaging comments about him.

In his biography, Jobs was quoted as saying that not only was Mr Gates an unimaginative guy, but that, "He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

Other criticisms included his opinion that Gates was "fundamentally flawed as a human being" - ironic, given Jobs' famously caustic responses to any fans that emailed him with complaints about Apple products.

But Gates hasn't taken taken the slights lying down. In an interview on ABC's This Week, he made a comment that's sure to anger Apple fan boys - and have the late Mr Jobs to rolling over a few times: Gates claims he helped design the original Macs that were Apple's first strong seller.

"Well, Steve and I worked together, creating the Mac. We [Microsoft] had more people on it, did the key software for it."

Stopping short of making disparaging comments about his former competitor and seeming work mate, Gates went on to say that while Jobs had said some "tough things" about him in his life time, it wasn't a malicious thing.

"At various times, he felt beleaguered. He felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys. You know, very understandable. I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all."

He did, however, express surprise that some of Jobs' quotes in his biography were so aggressive, and said that Microsoft was arguably the more successful firm, with Apple often in positions of very poor cash flow:

"So, over the course of the 30 years we worked together, you know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean, he faced several times at Apple the fact that their products were so premium-priced they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So, the fact that we were succeeding with high-volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it's tough.