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Dying Steve Jobs Kept Letter From Bill Gates At Bedside

CUPERTINO (CNET) -- Here's just the latest reported evidence that the late Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had a strong relationship at the time of the Apple icon's death.

Microsoft's co-founder told The Telegraph newspaper in London that yes, the two had some stormy days as fierce competitors.

But things changed around 2007 when Gates left Microsoft to set up his foundation and the two did an event together. Before Jobs' death in October, Gates said he paid him a long visit. "We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future."

Gates told The Telegraph he later wrote Jobs a letter to tell him "how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know."

After his death, Gates got a call from Jobs' wife Laurene who said Jobs appreciated the letter and kept it by his bed.

"She said; 'Look, this biography really doesn't paint a picture of the mutual respect you had," Gates said.

The letter was not meant to be conciliatory, The Telegraph points out.

"There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness."

Last week, Gates reflected on his friendship with Jobs in an interview with Yahoo and ABC: "We'd talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we'd both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation."

(Copyright © 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.)

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