Paul Allen talks Gates, guitars on '60 Minutes'

Microsoft co-founder reflects on the early days at the software maker and offers a tour of his estate, including a yacht with its own submarine and musical mementos from Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gave a wide-ranging interview on "60 Minutes" tonight that offers a peek into the life of the more reclusive of the software giant's co-founders.

Allen has penned a book, due out this week, that focuses on Microsoft's early years, as well as Allen's efforts as a philanthropist and entrepreneur. "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft" is also a book that has been criticized as taking cheap shots at fellow Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whom he accused of trying to take ownership stakes from Allen's share of Microsoft while Allen was battling cancer.

"It's not about [revenge]," Allen told correspondent 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."

Allen also showed Stahl around his estate, including a tour of his airplane collection, which features the first private space rocket, a yacht with its own submarine, and an extensive guitar collection with contributions from greats such as Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel, and Bono, and the guitar on which Jimi Hendrix played "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.

Also, "60 Minutes Overtime" features rare footage of a 2007 interview with Allen and Gates in which the two men take a stroll down memory lane. Despite their current contentious relationship, this glimpse catches them reminiscing on their old teenage stomping grounds, including a look at where they learned the building blocks of computer programming before they founded Microsoft.

The full "60 Minutes" segment:

The CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" also talked with John Cook and Todd Bishop of the tech blog Geekwire.com about whether Allen's book was part of a vendetta against Gates.

Note: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.

 

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