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Tag Archives: chief software architect

You can’t talk about Microsoft without bringing Bill Gates into the picture. The current chairman of the software company has been its flag bearer since it was founded during the mid-seventies. But contrary to the belief of many, Gates did not singlehandedly build Microsoft and turn it into one of the most profitable businesses to date. Without co-founder Paul Allen, Microsoft and even Gates himself would not be the industry giants that they are today.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Allen befriended Gates while both were in high school—a friendship that was built around a common enthusiasm for the booming computer industry. Their idea of fun was honing their programming skills on time-sharing computers.  They went to different schools in college, but it didn’t take long for both friends to reunite once more. After a couple of semesters and a stroke of inspiration, Allen managed to convince Gates to drop out of Harvard to create Microsoft.

And so began their road to greatness. Allen originally coined the company’s name “Micro-Soft” and spearheaded some sales and marketing efforts, bringing the company into the limelight. Gates, on the other hand, acted as the company’s chief software architect.

Microsoft’s odd couple  seemed indestructible, but the IT industry was shocked when their partnership reached a dramatic ending in 1983. Later on, Allen revealed how Gates tried to cut him off when he got sick with cancer in his tell-all autobiography. Things may have ended in sour note, but Allen still remains as one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Allen has moved on from being a billionaire co-founder to a prolific investor; his portfolio includes real estate holdings, media and content companies, as well as other technology companies. He is also the owner of two professional sports teams and a part-owner of one.

After all the controversies and fallouts, Allen has proven that he is still Microsoft’s other giant.