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NYTimes: A Tale of the Tape From the Days When Microsoft Was Still Micro Soft

“As Microsoft celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, the
company is unlikely to call attention to another formative event 25
years ago: the day someone stole Bill Gates’s software.”

“But the heist, now shrouded in equal parts mystery and industry
folklore, gave an early glimpse of the hard-nosed approach Mr.
Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, has long taken to the software
business. And the fierce debate that the theft ignited a
quarter-century ago remains relevant today, as the industry engages
in a war of words and lawsuits over whether computer software and
digital information should be bought and sold or freely
shared….”

“[Software created by Gates and Paul Allen] also almost
immediately set off an ideological debate among the community of
computer hobbyists and hackers: should software be a freely shared
utility or a commercial product? The issue created a deep and
lasting chasm in the computer world that is spreading to virtually
every aspect of today’s information economy – including video games
and digitally rendered music and movies.”

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