As news of Steve Jobs’ death rippled across the Internet, millions mourned online, using the devices he created.
Some of the most moving tributes, however, came from his peers in the industry.
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said that throughout his 30-year friendship with Jobs, they were “colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.”
In a statement, Gates said, “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 … For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Google CEO Larry Page remembered a brilliant man who kindly offered his advice, even though he was ill.
“He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it,” said Page. “His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me.”
Apple’s website carries a simple, but powerful tribute to the man, with “Steve Jobs: 1955-2001″ and a photograph filling the company’s home page. (RELATED: Visionary Apple founder Steve Jobs dead at 56)
Jobs’s old partner Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs in 1976, caught the news while at dinner with his family.
“Keeping family dinner despite the disturbing news,” he tweeted from an Outback Steakhouse.
Former Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, who knew Jobs during the 1980s, remembered “a young person who was revered, sometimes feared, but always revered. In a way, it’s kind of prophetic; everyone was hoping he could be on stage yesterday.”
But it was the new star of Silicon Valley who eulogized Jobs in his own unique way. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg took to his own page around 9:15 p.m. EST and wrote:
“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.”
His brief memoriam of Jobs was “liked” nearly 50,000 times within five minutes.