Torvalds has never met Bill Gates, but around 2000, when he was still working at Transmeta, he met Steve Jobs. Jobs invited him to Apple’s Cupertino campus and tried to hire him. “Unix for the biggest user base: that was the pitch,” says Torvalds. The condition: He’d have to drop Linux development. “He wanted me to work at Apple doing non-Linux things,” he said. That was a non-starter for Torvalds. Besides, he hated Mac OS’s Mach kernel.In 2000, Apple had had not yet shipped the first version of OS X 10.0 to the public. Apple had adapted the NeXTSTep operating system after acquiring NeXT in 1997. It wasn't until March, 2001 that the first version of OS X was launched.
Steve Jobs' job offer was at a time when Apple was heavily investing in Mac OS X which would later serve as the foundation for their iPhones and iPads.