In a series of recollections that paint Mr. Gates in an unflattering light, Mr. Allen said that after he decided to leave, Mr. Gates made a “lowball” offer of $5 a share for Mr. Allen’s stake in Microsoft. Mr. Allen asked for at least $10 a share, and Mr. Gates refused. That decision eventually turned Mr. Allen into a billionaire.
“From the time we’d started together in Massachusetts, I’d assumed that our partnership would be a 50-50 proposition,” Mr. Allen wrote earlier in the excerpt. “But Bill had another idea.”
During Microsoft’s early years, Mr. Gates pressured Mr. Allen to reduce his stake to 40 percent and later 36 percent as Mr. Gates’s own stake rose to 60 and then 64 percent, Mr. Allen wrote. “Bill knew that I would balk at a two-to-one split, and that 64 percent was as far as he could go,” he wrote.
Stephen Manes, co-author of the book “Gates: How Microsoft’s Mogul Reinvented an Industry — and Made Himself the Richest Man in America,” said that much of what Mr. Allen recounts in the excerpt, including the fact that his ownership of Microsoft was reduced significantly, was reported in his book and others. He also said that while Mr. Gates and Mr. Allen collaborated closely, the two often argued vociferously.
“People told us about shouting matches,” Mr. Manes said. “There was an epic one that began in the office, continued in the elevator and went on in the parking lot for half an hour.”
After leaving Microsoft, Mr. Allen, who is 58, became known as one of the most aggressive investors in technology, though his record has been mixed. He is also the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers.
People who know the two men said that they had remained friends until recently, and that Mr. Gates visited Mr. Allen frequently two years ago, when he was recovering from chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Paul is a creative, charming and likable person,” said Carl Stork, who worked at Microsoft from 1981 to 2002 and held several executive positions. “I don’t know what Paul is trying to accomplish by trying to take something away from Bill. I am puzzled and disappointed.”
—Christine Hauser contributed reporting from New York.