A classic Microsoft pose, 32 years later

A classic Microsoft pose, 32 years later

Summary: Bill Gates and Paul Allen reconstruct a photo from Microsoft's early days in 1981.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Ever see the above photo? It's a classic, of Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates in 1981, surrounded by then-cutting-edge computers.

This week, the pair came together at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle to recreate the photo with the same computers.

In a tweet -- "So much fun catching up w/ computing pioneers at the #LCMCelebration last night! Here I am with old friend @BillGates" -- Allen revealed the photo yesterday:


Todd Bishop at GeekWire points out that the photo was taken during "a small gathering of friends, many of them computing and technology pioneers," and that museum staff tracked down the vintage computer models in advance so that the pair could easily recreate the image.


Topic: Microsoft

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • A classic Microsoft pose, 32 years later

    Awesome pic, thanks for sharing.
  • Wow!

    Looks great!
    • Haha ahh if you could go back and be a fly on the wall...

      Back in those days, knowing what were to lay ahead...

      And just to play with those machines! This was a little before our first computer... The commodore 64. we wouldn't get a proper computer for a decade after this photo; it was an Olivetti - my mother got final say in the make as she'd had Olivetti typewriters at school. That computer didn't get packed up until about 10 years ago; for 13 years my dad did his accounts on it in Lotus!

      This is before Microsoft dominated the platform. I wonder if any of our kids will look back at mobile devices from today and marvel at how many different platforms there are? Tough I suppose you're unlikely to see a picture of the leader of this fictional dominant platform sat amongst the most popular devices of the day; Lee Kun-Hee sat around a collection of iPhones, Nokias, HTC, LG... Etc.

      The legacy of this photo set the president of what home computing was for over two decades. It'll be interesting to see where mobile computing ends up. Right now I think we're still in the Tandy/apple2/PET era. I expect everything we understand a smartphone or tablet to be to be a distant memory in maybe as little as a decade. All it needs is someone able to breach the closed walls again...
  • Nice...

    Excellent pictures...
  • thanks for sharing

    amazing picture!!
  • And one for the Microsoft drones.


    Arm A. Geddon
    • Yet again, you're way late to the party we see.

      ZDNet had that picture up like 3 weeks ago in a blog about early computer ads.

      We all laughed at it then. We're laughing now, but not at your picture...
      William Farrel
      • Laughing?

        Why would I want to laugh at either picture?
  • Bill Gates

    Is he supposed to have 26 in the old picture?
    was he inmature? or that is not the correct date?
    all the computers are from the seventies.
  • very cool

    Although with that awful lighting they should have gone one step further and made it B&W like the original.