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Bill Gates and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen recreate classic photo from 1981

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bill gates paul allen
bill gates paul allen

Many were surprised in 2011 when Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen slammed Bill Gates in the pages of his autobiography, Idea Man; the book claimed that Gates colluded with current CEO Steve Ballmer to reduce Allen's stake in the company, among other accusations. But last year's paperback edition included an epilogue hinting that the two men had overcome their differences, and now we're seeing further evidence that the friendship has healed — Allen and Gates have posed for a photo that recalls a classic Microsoft shot from the 80s.

The original image shows the two co-founders standing in a field of PCs in 1981, the year they licensed MS-DOS to IBM in a landmark deal that saw them retain control of the software. The new version is much the same, with most of the PCs in place and Allen still somewhat more formally dressed than the casual Gates.

As for how they managed to dig up the necessary hardware, the picture was taken when Gates dropped in at Seattle's Living Computer Museum, an interactive showcase for vintage PCs that Allen founded back in 2006 before its opening last year. A spokesperson told GeekWire that the museum staff worked to track down the computers especially for Gates' visit, which occurred as part of a small gathering of Allen's friends.