Paul Allen says new book isn't revenge on Gates

In an interview, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says his new book is not a work of revenge against Bill Gates but instead serves to set the record straight about the company's early days.

Paul Allen's new book.
Paul Allen's new book. Penguin

The controversy over Paul Allen's new book, which hits stores next week, has taken a different turn, with Allen playing defense against critics over the memoir's sometimes negative portrayal of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

In an interview with "60 Minutes," which airs this Sunday, Allen rebuffs criticisms from last month, saying the book is not an act of revenge against Gates, and is instead meant to serve as a record of what happened.

"It's not about [revenge]," Allen told Lesley Stahl in the interview. "I just felt like it's an important piece of technology history and I should tell it like it happened, and I hope people understand and respect that."

Even so, Allen said that he and Gates have not discussed the contents of the book in person yet, and that when that time came it would likely be "a heated discussion."

Stories in Vanity Fair and The Wall Street Journal last month highlighted sections of the book in which Allen claims Gates had sought to take ownership stakes from Allen's share of Microsoft. Excerpts from the book have Allen going into detail about how Gates had split up ownership in the company giving Gates nearly two thirds of ownership. It also depicts Gates colluding with the then recently hired (now CEO of Microsoft) Steve Ballmer, to further dilute Allen's stake, around the time Allen was wrestling with cancer. Allen says this culminated in a deal in the early '80s where Gates tried to buy him out for five dollars a share.

Despite that past history, Allen told the program that Gates visited him several times during his second bout with cancer , and that the two remained friends.

"Bill came here to my house multiple times, and we had some great talks. And there's a bond there that can't be denied, and I think we both feel that," Allen said.

Microsoft told CNET it had no comment on Allen's book.

Allen's "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft" hits shelves April 19. You can watch a clip of the interview in the player below.


Note: CNET News and "60 Minutes" are both properties of CBS Interactive.

 

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