When the name Microsoft is mentioned, the thoughts immediately go to its long-running Windows computer operating system line, as well as its notable rivalry with Apple computers and their proprietary operating system and products. Perhaps a name will also be recalled: Bill Gates, visionary founder who spearheaded the company direction that made Microsoft a household name for years, and himself as one of the richest (one-time THE richest) men in the world. But he did not start Microsoft alone; he had a co-founder, the one who actually gave the company its name. His name was Paul Allen, and Microsoft is now mourning his recent passing.
As The Verge tells it, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died in Seattle this past Monday, October 15, following one last struggle with lymphoma, a medical condition that has hounded him for over the last three decades of his life. The sad news was announced by Allen’s business and philanthropic company Vulcan, Inc. on social media, and specified that he passed away from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which the magnate had mentioned early October that he was undergoing treatment anew for. Allen was aged 65.
While Bill Gates is more easily mentioned where Microsoft is concerned, its formation was a tandem effort between him and Allen, a culmination of sorts from their childhood as friends and classmates in school. Gates himself issued a statement in honor of the man who founded Microsoft with him back in 1975. “From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend,” Gates remarked. “Personal computing would not have existed without him.” The remaining founder of Microsoft also praised Allen’s acts of philanthropy not just to his hometown of Seattle but on behalf of people everywhere.
Gates and Paul Allen began their commercial work in computing with a BASIC programming language interpreter in the seventies, with the latter coining the name “Micro-Soft” for their fledgling company, which became successful by providing the DOS used on IBM computers. Allen bowed out of active development work in 1982, when he was first diagnosed with his lifelong nemesis lymphoma. Due to being a Microsoft shareholder, he would become similarly wealthy like Bill Gates over the years, upon the company going public. By the time of his death he would be ranked 46th among the richest men in the world.
Allen’s death has been eulogized on social media by current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CEO Tim Cook of the company’s iconic rival Apple. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai also posted a few words about him.
Image courtesy of ABC News