Microsoft Wars: Paul Allen Trashes Gates in New Book

Says Gates plotted to take his shares while Allen battled cancer
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
Microsoft Wars: Paul Allen Trashes Gates in New Book
In this 1978 photo, the 11 people who started Microsoft: Front row from left, Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood and Paul Allen.   (AP Photo/Microsoft, file)

There's no love lost between Paul Allen and Bill Gates—at least, it seems that way in Allen's new memoir. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft is scheduled to hit shelves April 17, and its pages contain a biting portrait of Gates, reports the Wall Street Journal, which viewed a draft of the book. Allen presents a revised story of his relationship with Gates—which began in high school—writing, for instance, that in Microsoft's early days, Gates plotted to take his shares in the company while he was being treated for cancer. "It was mercenary opportunism, plain and simple," Allen writes.

The Journal reports that Allen's "unflattering account" of Gates has created a rift between the two and is surprising many, especially those who were a part of Microsoft's first days. Some have questioned the accuracy of Allen's depiction of certain events, saying he appears in the book in meetings he never attended. He also paints himself as the brains behind many of the company's most important ideas, and expresses "a bitterness" that he didn't receive more credit. He writes that he ultimately left Microsoft due in part to his co-founder's behavior: "My sinking morale sapped my enthusiasm for my work, which in turn could precipitate Bill's next attack." (More Paul Allen stories.)

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