Steve Jobs: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Other Tech Leaders React

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks during a special event September 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Apple debuted iTunes 9 during the presentation.

As the world reacts to the death of Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday (Oct. 5) at the age of 56, official statements from leaders in the tech industry have begun pouring in.

Apple's Steve Jobs Dead At 56

Bill Gates has issued the following statement on his official website:

I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

As Microsoft Chairman and Apple CEO respectively, Gates and Jobs were the most high-profile pioneers in the popularization of the personal computer. Their rivalry was documented in the 1984 book "Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer" by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, and later dramatized in the 1999 film "Pirates of Silicon Valley."

Photos: Steve Jobs With Music's Biggest Stars

Other luminaries of the tech world have chimed in to offer their condolences. Here are just a few:

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder/CEO: "Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder: "From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. 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."

Remembering Steve: Best of the Web
Jobs in His Own Words [Engadget]
Timeline of a Pioneering Life [Guardian]
The Top 3 Jobs Speeches [PCWorld]
List of His 317 Patents [NYT]
A Portrait Made of Ideas [StumbleUpon]

Larry Page, Google Co-Founder: "I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family."

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, YouTube Founders: "It was an honor to have worked with Steve Jobs. He will forever remain an inspiration. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.: "Steve Jobs was an iconic entrepreneur and businessman whose impact on technology was felt beyond Silicon Valley. He will be remembered for the innovation he brought to market and the inspiration he brought to the world."

Tim Cook, Apple CEO: "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve's extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time."