March 30th, 2011, 21:23 PM
Paul Allen: Gates, Ballmer tried to 'rip me off'
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has written a new book that takes aim at Bill Gates, and, according to some critics, fails to live up to reality.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which received an early copy of Allen's book, "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft," much of the book focuses on Allen's efforts as a philanthropist and entrepreneur. Allen's personal Web site claims he has given more than $1 billion to philanthropic efforts. He is also well-known in sports circles, thanks to his ownership of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.
But it's his commentary on Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and criticisms of his one-time partner that has garnered the most attention.
One of the most biting complaints by Allen is his contention that from the very beginning, Gates sought ways to take ownership stakes in Microsoft from Allen for his own gain.
According to Allen, the issue started when he and Gates were able to land their first big contract. When it finally came time to form the company that would become Microsoft, Allen says, he assumed he would receive an equal split of the company. However, he says in his memoir, Gates had another idea.
In an excerpt from the book published by Vanity Fair today, Allen claims Gates said it wouldn't be "right for you to get half." According to the Microsoft co-founder, Gates reasoned that because he "did almost everything on BASIC," the split should be 60-40 in his favor.
After Allen accepted the terms, Gates had another idea. Allen claims Gates said that he thought he should get more than 60 percent, and asked for 64 percent ownership in Microsoft, leaving 36 percent to his co-founder.
"I might have haggled and offered Bill two points instead of four, but my heart wasn't in it," Allen wrote in his memoir, according to the Vanity Fair excerpt. "So I agreed. At least now we can put this to bed, I thought."
Full story: c|net