From the Jobs/Gates "summit" as reported by MacWorld:

"So the big secret about Apple is that Apple views itself as a software company. And there aren’t very many software companies left. And Microsoft is a software company," said Jobs. "We look at what they do, and some is really great, and some is competitive, and some of it's not."

No, Steve, you're not. You're a hardware company whose advantage is that you can write great supporting software. iTunes without iPod would have meant zippo. So what if you were the preferred mp3 player interface? That doesn't allow you to leverage AAC, much less the iTunes Music Store, onto the vast majority of mp3 player owners.

Don't get me started with OS X. I like the OS, but it's driving sales of Macs. I can't imagine the vast majority of the Mac revenue comes from iLife and OS upgrades. I'm betting it comes from hardware. Perhaps the MacBook gets its OS a bit more cheaply than a Vista-powered Dell 1501, but that's not a dealbreaker.

And where else does Apple make scads of cash on software? iWork? Final Cut? FileMaker? Come on.

If Apple seeing itself as a software company helps it do the good work it's done, well great. But without iPod, Mac, and now iPhone, its stock isn't worth a tenth of what it's worth today.