Paul Allen’s relationship with Bill Gates over the years was never considered to be a hostile one with any bitterness between the two founders of Microsoft. However, Paul Allen’s upcoming book, Idea Man, paints a different picture than many would have expected.
According to an excerpt of the book published in Vanity Fair, in December 1982, 3 months after Allen was diagnosed and receiving treatment for cancer, Gates and Steve Ballmer were discussing Allen’s lack of production and the various methods that could be utilized to dilute his “Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders”. After overhearing this conversation, Allen confronted Gates and Ballmer accusing them of colluding behind his back. A few days after the incident, Gates apologized to Allen with a six-page handwritten letter and provided a candid look at their partnership throughout the years: “During the last 14 years we have had numerous disagreements. However, I doubt any two partners have ever agreed on as much both in terms of specific decisions and their general idea of how to view things.”
In an e-mailed statement to Reuters, Gates further re-emphasized his continuing friendship with Paul: “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.”