PAUL ALLEN Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


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At Lakeside School, Paul Allen (14 years old) and friend Bill Gates (12 years           
old) became early computer enthusiasts. Allen went on to attend Washington State       
University, though he dropped out after two years to pursue his and Gates's             
dream of writing software commercially for the new "personal computers".               
Allen and Gates and a small group of other Lakeside students begin programming         
in BASIC, using a teletype terminal.                                                   
Helps teach computer course to junior high students at Lakeside.                       
Graduates from Lakeside; enrolls at Washington State University.                       
Allen and Gates buy an Intel 8008 chip for $360 and build a computer to measure         
traffic.They launch their first company, Traf-O-Data.                                   
Hired as a programmer by Honeywell in Boston.                                           
Allen and Gates write the first microcomputer BASIC for the Altair, a computer         
kit based on Intel's new 8080 chip. They move to Albuquerque, N.M., where Altair's     
producer MITS makes Allen its associate director of software. Allen divides his         
time between MITS and a new company he and Gates have started to develop and           
market microcomputer languages: Micro Soft.                                             
Apple commissions Microsoft to supply a version of its BASIC for the hot-selling       
Apple II. Radio Shack buys a Microsoft BASIC for its TRS-80.                           
Microsoft moves from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Wash.                                     
Microsoft agrees to develop and license DOS and BASIC to IBM for its new               
personal computer.                                                                     
Gates and Allen discuss graphical user interfaces, planting the seeds that will         
become Windows.                                                                         
Allen and Gates found Microsoft (initially "Micro Soft") in Albuquerque, New           
Mexico, and begin selling a BASIC interpreter. Allen spearheads a deal for             
Microsoft to buy an operating system called QDOS for $50,000. Microsoft wins a         
contract to supply it to for use as the operating system of IBM's new PC. This         
becomes the foundation for Microsoft's remarkable growth.                               
Allen was forced to resign from Microsoft in 1983 after being diagnosed with           
Hodgkin's disease which was successfully treated by several months of radiation         
In 1984 he founded Asymetrix, a software development company based in Belleuve,         
Washington, to make application development tools that nonprogrammers can use.         
Asymetrix later went on to become and yet later merged with             
Docent to become Sum Total System (2004). In the 1990's the company began to           
specialize in software for developing and delivering computer-based learning.           
1992 Allen started Starwave, a producer of online content sites. Starwave did           
such great work for ESPN SportsZone and that Disney (NYSE: DIS)             
bought it for a total of $350 million last year.                                       
1998 In April Allen buys Marcus Cable, the nation's 10th largest cable company,         
for $2.8 billion--his biggest investment to date. Also this year Allen grabbed a       
stake of the Internet video-sales market with his purchase of Hollywood                 
Entertainment. And he took another software group public. This time it's               
Asymetrix Learning Systems, maker of products for online classes.                       
On September 28, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. announced that Paul Allen is assuming a         
new role as senior strategy adviser to top Microsoft executives. The company           
also announced that Allen and Richard Hackborn have decided not to seek re-election     
to Microsoft's board of directors at the company's November shareholder meeting.       
In December 2003 he announced that he was the sponsor behind the SpaceShipOne           
private rocket plane venture from Scaled Composites, as part of the ANSARI X           
PRIZE competition. In June 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first successful               
commercial spacecraft when it passed the 100 kilometer threshold of space.             
In September 2003, Allen founded the Allen Institute of Brain Science pledging $100     
million in seed money to the Seattle-based organization. Its inaugural project         
is the Allen Brain Atlas, a map of the human brain which will be made publicly         
accessible. The Brain Atlas is a component of the loosely formed Human Cognome         
Starting in 2003, Vulcan Ventures began funding Project Halo, an attempt to             
apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to the problem of producing a digital         
Aristotle that might serve as a mentor, providing comprehensive access to the           
world's knowledge.                                                                     
Allen is a major contributor to the SETI, or Search for Extra-Terrestrial               
Intelligence project.                                                                   
He is also the founder of the Experience Music Project, originally inspired by         
his interest in a museum to house his considerable collection of Jimi Hendrix           
Allen runs a venture capital firm, Vulcan Ventures, and has created the                 
Experience Music Project, a museum of music history, in Seattle, Washington.           
He owns (through Rose City Radio Corporation) some Portland radio stations. When       
he heard Seattle's Cinerama movie theater was about to shut down, he bought,           
restored, and updated it into a showplace for movies of all formats. He is also         
one of the principal financiers behind the SETI project, having stepping in to         
rescue the project when NASA stopped funding it in the 1990s.                           
Allen owns the Flying Heritage Collection.                                             
Currently Allen is the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers (an NBA basketball           
team) and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He also owns           
Rose Garden Arena, the home court of the NBA Blazers team. Due to declining             
attendance in 2002 and 2003, as well as difficulties renegotiating the terms of         
a 1993 loan, the Rose Garden corporation filed for bankruptcy on February 27,           
In June of 2004, Allen opened the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame,             
located at the Experience Music Project.