Steve Jobs 1955-2011: The Tech Industry Reacts

From partners to fierce rivals, tech leaders praise Apple founder's legacy.

Apple Founder Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday leaving behind a tech legacy of innovation and inspiration.

Those who knew him best, those that learned from him and those that competed with him have been lavishing accolades and praise in the hours since the announcement of his passing.

Among Apple's fiercest rivals over the years were the leaders of Microsoft, and both CEO Steve Ballmer and Founder Bill Gates issued statements about Jobs.

"I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work."

Samsung has emerged as a more recent rival to Apple and they too paid tribute to Jobs. Samsung chief G.S. Choi said in a statement that, "Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur."

"His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world."

Job's influence on other titans of the tech industry, including Google and Facebook, was also made clear in comments from those companies.

"From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino," Google co-founder Sergey Brin wrote in a Google+ posting. " Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.

"On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple."

Mark Zukerberg, founder of Facebook, also paid tribute to Jobs.

"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend," Zukerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Yahoo founder Jerry Yang paid a similar tribute, noting the friendship and advice that Jobs gave him.

"Steve was my hero growing up," Yang said in a statement. "He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives. I will miss him dearly, as will the world"

As a testament to the tremendous impact that Jobs had on the U.S and the world, President Obama also issued a statement on Jobs' passing.

"Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it," Obama said in a statement. "The world has lost a visionary."

The sense of tremendous loss was echoed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who told the Associated Press, "We've lost something, we won't get back."

"People sometimes have goals in life," Wozniak told the LA Times. "Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."

Tags: Apple, steve jobs

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