Revealed: The dinner with a Microsoft employee that irritated Steve Jobs so much he created the iPad

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates locked horns on countless occasions with the former famously slating the latter for 'ripping off his ideas'. But it seems Apple owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Gates' firm - because the iconic iPad would never have been created had a Microsoft employee not boasted to Jobs over dinner that they had a revolutionary tablet in production. 'This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, "F**k this, let's show him what a tablet can really be",' Jobs said.

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His anger drove him to create the seven-inch touchscreen iPad - launched in April 2010 and now in its second incarnation, which has sold a combined total of 39.8 million units.
The true inspiration behind the iPad is one of many extraordinary revelations contained in Walter Isaacson's authorised biography 'Steve Jobs', published yesterday.
The biographer, who interviewed Jobs 40 times during his final battle with cancer, also had access to the inventor's friends and family.

The hotly-anticipated book, predicted to become an instant best-seller, reveals how Jobs had a 'problematic psychological attitude' to food.
He would stick to strange diets where he would only eat cereal, carrots or 'starchless vegetables'. Sometimes he would only eat Apples, a quirk that is said to have inspired his company's name.
Elizabeth Holmes, a friend and early Apple employee, is quoted in the book as saying: 'Steve would be starving when he arrived, and he would then stuff himself. Then he would go and purge. For years I thought he was bulimic.'

On sale: Walter Isaacon's authorised biography of Steve Jobs is now available to buy, and is predicted to become a best-seller
On sale: Walter Isaacon's authorised biography of Steve Jobs is now available to buy, and is predicted to become a best-seller
Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs
Intimate: Walter Isaacson (left) was granted unprecedented access to Steve Jobs, his family and friends to write the authorised biography (right) that was published yesterday

On his fight with pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 2004, Jobs for months tried alternative therapies that may have cost him his long-term health. It was a decision, Isaacson wrote, that Jobs came to realise was wrong.

According to the biography, Jobs had a 'very slow growing' type of pancreatic cancer 'that can actually be cured,' but still opted not to get the surgery until nine months had gone by and it may have been too late.
Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic.

He also was influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, the book says, before finally having surgery in July 2004.
The rapid advance of the cancer caused Mr Jobs to undergo an operation known as a 'Whipple procedure' in which he had his pancreas and duodenum removed.

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