Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Paul Allen: From Partner to Pest

Bill Gates has a long line of critics. I was one until he started trying to save the world by giving away the vast bulk of his vast wealth.

Over the last few decades I've spent most of my working time covering software vendors. Gates was clearly a brute to software partners and competitors, most of whom are now out of business. That's what made me a critic.

But someone I never expected to rain on Gates' parade is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, out hawking a new book.

Books these days are based less on fine prose and insight, and more on controversy and criticism. Don't believe me? Look at all the garbage penned by washed-up politicians. So it is any wonder that Allen's new book takes shots (you can decide if they are cheap or not) at Gates? According to Allen, when Microsoft started, he expected that he and Gates would share ownership 50/50. Gates talked him down to 60/40 then 64/36, both in Bill's favor.

Later when Steve Ballmer joined, and Allen was suffering from tough health issues, Gates and Ballmer got together to dilute Allen's shares further. Some equity went to Ballmer, some went to other execs as incentives.

There are two sides to this coin: The book clearly shows Gates' spare no prisoners business approach. Then again, Microsoft grew, in part, because it could entice the best and the brightest with stock incentives.

Where do you stand? Are you upset that Paul Allen only has little more than $10 billion, or did he have to take one for the Microsoft team? Share your thoughts on this urgent matter at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/01/2011 at 1:18 PM


Featured

  • Microsoft Adding Google G Suite Migration in Exchange Admin Center

    Microsoft's Exchange Admin Center will be getting the ability to move Google G Suite calendar, contacts and e-mail data over to the Office 365 service "in the coming weeks."

  • Qualcomm Back in Datacenter Fray with AI Chip

    The chip maker joins a crowded field of vendors that are designing silicon for processing AI inference workloads in the datacenter.

  • Microsoft To Ship Surface Hub 2S Conference Device in June

    Microsoft on Wednesday announced a June U.S. ship date for one of its Surface Hub 2S conferencing room products, plus a couple of other product milestones.

  • Kaspersky Lab Nabs Another Windows Zero-Day

    Kaspersky Lab this week described more about a zero-day Windows vulnerability (CVE-2019-0859) that its researchers recently discovered, and how PowerShell was used by the exploit.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.