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Knowing Jobs Was "Insanely Great" Honour: Gates

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US President Barack Obama joined an outpouring of tributes to Steve Jobs, calling the Apple co-founder a visionary and great American innovator.

"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 of Jobs, who died on Wednesday.

The US President was joined by political, technology, entertainment and business leaders around the world in paying tribute to Jobs. A selection:

Microsoft Corp co-founder and chairman Bill Gates bid farewell to his long-time friend and competitor Steve Jobs on Wednesday, using the Apple co-founder's own words in his tribute.

"For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor," Gates said in an e-mailed statement. "I will miss Steve immensely."

"Insanely great" was of one of Jobs' favorite expressions.

"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," Gates said.

Gates, 55, and Jobs, 56, were twin figureheads in the early development of personal computers in the 1970s and 1980s. They became friends and fierce competitors.

"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," said Gates.

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

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder And Ceo, 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.

Bob Iger, CEO Of Walt Disney Co

"Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started."

Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Hopeful, On Twitter

"Steve Jobs is an inspiration to American entrepreneurs. He will be missed."

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former California Governor, On Twitter

"Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us."

Investor Marc Andreessen

"Steve was the best of the best. Like Mozart and Picasso, he may never be equalled."

Paul Allen, Co-Founder Of Microsoft

"We've lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. Steve fought a long battle against tough odds in a very brave way. He kept doing amazing things in the face of all that adversity. As someone who has had his own medical challenges, I couldn't help but be encouraged by how he persevered."

Michael Dell, CEO Of Dell Inc

"Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come."

Larry Page, CEO Of Google, On Google+

"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."

Steve Case, Founder Of AOL, On Twitter

"I feel honored to have known Steve Jobs. He was the most innovative entrepreneur of our generation. His legacy will live on for the ages."

Spike Lee, Producer/Director/Actor, On Twitter

"VISIONARIES are always called CRAZY in the beginning. A VISIONARY sees things that everybody else says is IMPOSSIBLE, sees a World that People can't invision (sic)-MAC, IPOD, IPAD, IPHONE, ITUNES and PIXAR. I have nothing but Love for Mr Jobs and Apple, they have always given me and my films L-O-V-E. Peace and Blessings to his family."