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BW Businessworld

Paul Allen Targets Bill Gates In Book

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Microsoft's billionaire co-founder Paul Allen thinks Bill Gates is a sarcastic bully who tried to force him out of the firm and cut his share in the company. In a yet-to-be-published memoir, Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft, Allen (58) claims that Gates deprived him of his share of the Microsoft fortune. An extract of the book, set to go on sale on 17 April, has appeared in the online version of the Vanity Fair magazine.

Allen claims in the book that Gates attempted to buy his shares at a bargain price before he left Microsoft in 1983.
"I'd assumed that our partnership would be a 50-50 proposition. But Bill had another idea," Allen writes.

Allen says he overheard a heated conversation between Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer in December 1982, shortly after Allen told them he was thinking of leaving the company. "They were discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. It was clear that they'd been thinking about this for some time," writes Allen.

Allen currently runs a Seattle-based investment company.
 











KEY QUALITIES: Shortage of paint pigment hurt automakers production James Murdoch gets a promotion in News Corp (Bloomberg

James Murdoch Moves Up The News Corp Ladder
James Murdoch moved one step closer to succeeding Rupert Murdoch as the chief of News Corp this week. He was made the company's deputy chief operating officer.

Murdoch Jr is currently chief executive of the group's international operations run out of London. He will move to New York and continue reporting to News Corp deputy chairman and chief operating officer Chase Carey. News Corp said James, 38, would also head the company's international operations as chairman and chief executive of News Corp International.

Xirallic Shortage Paints A Sorry Picture
Major automakers in the US and Europe — including Chrysler, Toyota Motor, General Motors and Ford Motor — are unable to produce cars in certain colours after the earthquake in Japan. The shortage of a pigment called Xirallic has forced automakers to stop taking orders for vehicles in certain shades of black, red and other colours. Xirallic is produced by German chemical company Merck at its Onahama plant near the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. The plant was closed after the quake and ensuing tsunami on 11 March. Merck is the only producer of Xirallic in the world.

Android Will Overtake Symbian in 2011, Says IDC
The worldwide smartphone market will grow nearly 50 per cent — from 303.4 million to 450 million — in 2011 compared to 2010, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). Google's operating system (OS) Android will become the leading operating system overtaking Nokia's Symbian, IDC said. Android will have a 39.5 per cent share of the smartphone OS market in 2011, followed by Symbian with 20.9 per cent, Apple's iOS with 15.7 per cent, Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS with 14.9 per cent and Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile with 5.5 per cent.

S&P Downgrades Greece And Portugal
S&P's downgraded Greece and Portugal this week saying that they might repay their debt to a new European bailout fund before other investors. This sent the cost of borrowing for these two countries shooting up. The bonds of both countries were hit, with Portuguese 10- and two-year yields jumping to lifetime highs and Greek two-year yields rising 10 basis points to 15.46 per cent. The downgrade left Portugal one notch above junk. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said this week that her government could give Portugal a cash injection by buying back some of the Brazilian government debt it currently owns.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 11-04-2011)