Apple has to fight off three of the biggest PC companies, sick of the security bugs that plague Windows, wanting to license the Mac operating system.

The revelation came in a Fortune magazine interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, described by MacDailyNews as "an embarrassment of riches" because it is so full of information. Unfortunately the article is only available to subscribers.

In the article Jobs tells stories about the birth of iTunes – it was started from scratch and took just four months to create; describes how the iPod took just months to produce; and reiterates the enormous challenge of creating the iTunes Music Store.

Other revelations include Jobs admission that Apple asked Adobe to develop a Mac version of their consumer video-editing program in 1998 and Adobe said no. Jobs recalls: "They said flat-out no. We were shocked, because they had been a big supporter in the early days of the Mac. But we said, Okay, if nobody wants to help us, we're just going to have to do this ourselves."

The result was the start of Apple's Applications Software Division – now a 1,000-engineer-strong group.

iLife is centre

Fortune reporter Schlender writes: "Jobs sees applications like iLife as the centerpiece of his marketing strategy, which is to differentiate the Macintosh from Windows PCs by positioning it as a complete multimedia machine. Right out of the box, the Mac with iLife gives users (especially the creative types) everything they need for creating, editing, managing, and playing digital content."

As for the birth of the iTunes concept, Jobs says: "I felt like a dope." He explains that back to summer 2000 he was so distracted by a fixation on perfecting video editing on the Mac that he didn't notice that people were using computers and CD burners to make audio CDs and to download digital songs called MP3s from illegal online services like Napster.

"Yes, even Jobs, the technological visionary of his generation, occasionally gets caught looking in the wrong direction," writes Schlender.

Jobs says: "I thought we had missed it. We had to work hard to catch up."

Jobs tells Schlender that the Tiger version of OS X will have "everything that Bill Gates and Microsoft are promising in Longhorn". He adds: "They copied the original Mac with Windows 95, and now they're going to be copying us again."