Chapter 8The Gate Comes Down

We got creamed.

Don Massaro, president of Xerox’s office-products division

In the years since they had left Albuquerque for their native Bellevue, Washington, Bill Gates and Paul Allen had established a successful software business specializing in programming languages for personal computers. The BASIC they had originally written for the MITS Altair was still their most popular product, a standard in an industry with few standards. In addition, Gates and Allen had introduced other programming languages, like mainframe-originated FORTRAN and COBOL, to personal computers. They even had a hardware product, a card for the Apple that would let it run Microsoft’s 8080 and Z80 software. Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer ...

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