Political and business leaders, including the biggest names in the technology industry, have paid tribute to Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
They did so in Facebook and Twitter postings, on entire search engines, and in statements published on official websites. Many no doubt looked for information about Jobs' life, death and legacy not in the mainstream media, but on websites geared toward geeks who before Jobs changed our definition of "cool" would have denied it.
Shortly after the news began to circulate, Apple’s homepage became a tribute to Jobs, while Google’s homepage displayed a link to the Apple homepage tribute with "Steve Jobs" as anchor text.
"#RIP Steve Jobs" became the top-trending topic on Twitter, followed by "#ThankYouSteve" and "#iSad," USA Today reports. #stevejobs was trending overnight in the U.S.
The LA Times quoted an "overwhelmed" Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs, as saying: "People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook: "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."
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, said via Twitter: "Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesn't just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement. #RIPSteveJobs"
Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google, posted on Google+: "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."
Fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin, also posting on Google+, wrote: "From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino, [Calif]. 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."
Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, said in a statement reported by the Wall Street Journal, among others: "Steve defined a generation of style and technology that's unlikely to be matched again. Steve was so charismatically brilliant that he inspired people to do the impossible, and he will be remembered as the greatest computer innovator in history."
Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and Jobs' longtime rival, was quoted by Tech radar as saying he was "truly saddened" to hear of Jobs' passing and saluted the "profound impact" he had on the world, "the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come." He added: "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely."
Apple CEO Tim Cook, meantime, released an email to Apple employees Wednesday that said:
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The family of Steve Jobs also released a statement late Wednesday, reported by BusinessWire:
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement on the White House website shortly after Jobs' death that said: "By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Former California governor, tweeted: "Steve lived the California dream every day of his life, and he changed the world and inspired all of us."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg likened Jobs to "Edison and Einstein," describing him as "[A person] who could see the future and brought it to life long before most people could even see the horizon."
According to USA Today, DC Comics' co-publisher Jim Lee said: hell no :(((