Paul Allen accuses Bill Gates of co-founder conspiracy in new Microsoft memoir

Extracts from the upcoming autobiography of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen have revealed significant resentment toward Bill Gates, with the ex-exec accusing his one-time partner of conspiring to take shares in the company from him while he underwent treatment for cancer. "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft" is scheduled to go on sale on April 17, but according to the WSJ's early access paints "a revisionist take" on Microsoft's early days.

Allen reportedly inserts himself into meetings that others attending cannot recall him being present at, in addition to claiming credit for much of the innovation that pushed Microsoft on to success. As a result, there is ongoing frustration at the number of shares in the company he holds, in addition to the accusations that he caught Gates and Steve Ballmer discussing ways in which they could reduce his equity by issuing further options to others, themselves included.

"I had helped start the company and was still an active member of management, though limited by my illness, and now my partner and my colleague were scheming to rip me off," he claims. "It was mercenary opportunism, plain and simple."

As for Bill Gates, the co-founder hasn't spoken publicly on the memoir, but issued a written statement suggesting that "while my recollection of many of these events may differ from Paul's, I value his friendship and the important contributions he made to the world of technology and at Microsoft."