As news of the death of Steve Jobs spread around the Internet, the tributes came pouring in today, crediting Apple's co-founder and chairman with -- more than once -- changing computing as we know it.
Apple's Web page was black-and-white on Wednesday afternoon, displaying only a photograph of Jobs in his trademark black turtleneck. "Apple has lost a visionary and a 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," the company said on its website. Apple is inviting fans to send in condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jobs died peacefully on Wednesday after a long bout with pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was surrounded by his family.
"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an email sent to all Apple employees Wednesday. "Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor." Apple said on its site that it is planning a celebration of Jobs' life.
Although Jobs' death was not unexpected, it prompted a torrent of condolences, remembrances, and sad musings on the Internet. On Twitter, the hashtag "RIP Steve Jobs" was instantly a trending topic.
President Barack Obama, who totes an iPad 2 given to him personally by Jobs, said in a statement: "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. 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. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: He changed the way each of us sees the world. The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates said he would miss his onetime rival. "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it's been an insanely great honor," Gates said on Twitter. "I will miss Steve immensely."
Former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy also praised Jobs. "I think he's the greatest entrepreneur we've ever known or seen," McNealy said during an event on Wednesday evening. "Look at what he did with Apple, what he did with Pixar."