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Microsoft co-founder says Gates was a 'bully'

Microsoft co-founder says Gates was a 'bully'

Forbes magazine estimates Allen's fortune at $13bn, thanks to a deal on leaving the company.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has portrayed Bill Gates as a sarcastic bully in his memoirs, which go on sale in April.

An extract of the book, called Idea Man: a Memoir, was just published by Vanity Fair. It paints a less than rosy picture of Gates, saying he tried to 'force his founding partner out of the firm and to cut his share in the company as he was recovering from cancer.'

The two met at high school in 1968, where Allen describes his first impressions of Gates as 'really competitive; he wanted to show you how smart he was. And he was really, really persistent.'

Perhaps the most damning claim was that when Allen returned from sick leave with Hodgkin's lymphoma, he found Gates and current Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer discussing ways of reducing his stake in the company.

According to The Guardian, Forbes magazine estimates Allen's fortune at $13bn, thanks to a deal on leaving the company.

Gates has since responded to Allen's version of events in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, saying: 'While my recollection of many of these events may differ from Paul's, I value his friendship and the important contributions he made to the world of technology and at Microsoft.'

What do you make of the extract? Let us know in the forums.

32 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
BRAWL 31st March 2011, 10:27 Quote
What do I make of it...

Allen QQ'ing his heart out? Get a grip... Bill Gates was the dude who made Microsoft of course he was gonna' be a douche. You just confirmed it nicely.
SpAceman 31st March 2011, 10:32 Quote
Nice guys finish last. You don't run a successful business by keeping everyone happy. Imagine if AMD and NVidia were best friends?
mpr 31st March 2011, 10:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpAceman
Nice guys finish last. You don't run a successful business by keeping everyone happy. Imagine if AMD and NVidia were best friends?

Our wallets would be empty and we'd be stuck on console gen cards...
niro 31st March 2011, 10:59 Quote
i dnt see what the problem here is? IF Gates had just chucked him out and left him with nothing then yea man has something to gripe about, but $13 billion fortune from work Microsoft?? seriously I would just let everything go and enjoy life.
Parge 31st March 2011, 11:01 Quote
I bet the $13b fortune makes all the bullying easier to bear though
liratheal 31st March 2011, 11:18 Quote
If he'd been let penniless and unable to afford the treatment for his cancer, I'd care, but as it stands. I don't.

He's still rich as ****, and although Gates was probably more ruthless than most people imagine, it's probably still not fair to call him a "bully".
Faunus 31st March 2011, 11:51 Quote
Bullied by an 8 stone weakling like Gates, daaammnnn, you deserve it pal!
Baz 31st March 2011, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faunus
Bullied by an 8 stone weakling like Gates, daaammnnn, you deserve it pal!

Not all intimidation is physical.
Bauul 31st March 2011, 12:55 Quote
The best business people are often boarderline bullies. You don't become the world's richest man through hugs and kisses.
Jake123456 31st March 2011, 13:03 Quote
He paid someone so he can bully him, awesome guy...
Faunus 31st March 2011, 13:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Not all intimidation is physical.

I know this. I bully our Windows sysadmins all the time :'(
Snips 31st March 2011, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpAceman
Nice guys finish last. You don't run a successful business by keeping everyone happy. Imagine if AMD and NVidia were best friends?

They both got found out for doing exactly that a year or two ago. Some inside managers from both companies were holding off releases so the other could gain sales until the other released a better card.

Funny how some forget that.

Anyway, back on topic. That's why he's giving billions away to charity. Buying his way into heaven, since he raised hell making it all.
SMIFFYDUDE 31st March 2011, 13:43 Quote
Don't we already know this? Anyway the thought of being bullied by the ultimate nerd is kinda funny.
general22 31st March 2011, 15:20 Quote
This seems pretty typical for the release of a book that is biographical in nature. Write controversial material so they sell more copies. That is all there is to this story.
Silent_Raider 31st March 2011, 17:45 Quote
I'm surprised the $13 billion deal for him to leave didn't include some type of clause preventing Allen from writing this.
law99 31st March 2011, 17:51 Quote
Boo hoo. Rolling in money boy so sad! :-)
EvoDOOM 31st March 2011, 18:01 Quote
So sad he only left with $13 billion
impar 31st March 2011, 18:53 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent_Raider
I'm surprised the $13 billion deal for him to leave didn't include some type of clause preventing Allen from writing this.
That would be some 10B extra.
mucgoo 31st March 2011, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by general22
This seems pretty typical for the release of a book that is biographical in nature. Write controversial material so they sell more copies. That is all there is to this story.

I don't think he's reliant on this book being a commercial success in order to enjoy retirement.
thehippoz 31st March 2011, 19:33 Quote
Quote:

I offered a word to the wise: “You know, Bill, when you get to Harvard, there are going to be some people a lot better in math than you are.”

“No way,” he said. “There’s no way!”

One day I watched a professor cover the blackboard with a maze of partial differential equations, and they might as well have been hieroglyphics from the Second Dynasty. It was one of those moments when you realize, I just can’t see it. I felt a little sad, but I accepted my limitations. I was O.K. with being a generalist.

For Bill it was different. When I saw him again over Christmas break, he seemed subdued. I asked him about his first semester, and he said glumly, “I have a math professor who got his Ph.D. at 16.”

good article.. shows how bill was really- I dunno why he would call him a bully though, he road his coattails basically.. should be called memoirs of a coattail rider or leftover paul
kzinti1 31st March 2011, 22:54 Quote
$13 billion and still bitching? And rich people wonder why they're so hated. You were way too easy on him Uncle Bill!
erratum1 1st April 2011, 06:43 Quote
With a 13 billion fortune who cares, I can't even imagine having that amount of money.
outlawaol 1st April 2011, 07:15 Quote
Perhaps Bill was constantly dangling his larger sum of money over paul and paul felt his $13b was inferior. After all nothing says 'na na na na naaa!' like a larger pill of money. ;)
red4our 1st April 2011, 18:04 Quote
READ ALL ABOUT IT!! Shock revelation!! Bill Gates was a determined single-minded "whatever it takes" achiever. We'd never have guessed! Will I buy the book? Probably not.
Volund 1st April 2011, 18:09 Quote
This doesn't seem to be all that important in the scheme of things.....

also, why is B-T always behind on these type of articles? the register posted an article twice this length the day before, and on a regular basis members post news articles from other sites that are posted by a Bit staff member later during the day....
Roger Water Phelps 3rd April 2011, 02:54 Quote
An easy job for Bill Gates and Ballmer since the only thing Gates and Ballmer ever do is vote to replace Windows with a new edition each spring. If only the money went to the people actually doing the work, like Japan has tried to do. We're still knee deep in ancient slavery tradition. Anytime anyone actually acquires any money people want to make fun!
Greentrident 5th April 2011, 13:40 Quote
There was me thinking the biggest computer nerd in the world would have excellent interpersonal skills!
MajestiX 6th April 2011, 04:44 Quote
sounds like he's having a cry cause he didn't get a bigger cut
Canon 6th April 2011, 04:52 Quote
For $13b you can go and get the biggest, hardest mother****er on the planet and I will let him stick my head down a toilet and flush everyday for the rest of my life, he can follow me everywhere I go and make sarcastic remarks on everything I do and you know what? I'll pay his salary too.
Ryu_ookami 6th April 2011, 05:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Allen
Bill Gates was a sarcastic bully

Also announced today Water is Wet. Snow is Cold and Playing with yellow snow is a bad idea.

Sorry but I figured that, seeing as people were announcing the obvious, I'd join in.
Jhodas 6th April 2011, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volund
why is B-T always behind on these type of articles? the register posted an article twice this length the day before, and on a regular basis members post news articles from other sites that are posted by a Bit staff member later during the day....

Hopefully because they're busy reviewing the next shiny shiny motherboard or something. While interesting, I'd rather bit-tech were late with this kind of stuff because it shows they're probably investigating the stuff we really care about.
paulp 12th April 2011, 10:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by niro
i dnt see what the problem here is? IF Gates had just chucked him out and left him with nothing then yea man has something to gripe about, but $13 billion fortune from work Microsoft?? seriously I would just let everything go and enjoy life.

$13 billion is an unbelievable fortune, however, to leave with a feeling that your boss cheated you on what was rightfully yours is demeaning and insulting. The money is not the issue. The employee got more than enough.

However, practically business situations are rarely black and white. People who succeed in business do these kinds of things. The employee did great financially and he's getting back at Bill by defaming him. Who knows if the story is even true?
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