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The photo above is a Microsoft classic, showing the company’s founders, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, surrounded by personal computers in 1981. Fast forward 32 years, and check out the picture below, taken this week at Allen’s Living Computer Museum in Seattle.


Yes, even the computers are the same models, for the most part. Gates is in a pullover, Allen in a suit jacket. About the biggest difference, apart from the three decades, is that Allen is missing the beard and tie. Pretty awesome.

The picture was taken during a celebration of computing pioneers at the museum. It’s notable in part because of the rift that emerged between the two Microsoft founders following the publication of Allen’s book, Idea Man, and its unvarnished portrayal of Gates.

[Update: A spokeswoman for Allen tells us that the picture was taken last night at the museum, which features working models of many vintage PCs and mainframes. Allen hosted a small gathering of friends, many of them computing and technology pioneers. The museum staff worked in advance to track down the models to recreate the classic shot.]

Microsoft and Newsweek did something similar with an even more iconic picture, getting the gang back together to remake the classic shot from Albuquerque when Gates retired from day-to-day work at the company in 2008.

Follow-up: Modest beginnings: Bill Gates’ 1974 resume surfaces, seeking a $15k salary

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