Bill Gates has shared heartfelt memories of his friendship with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died on Monday at the age of 65.
Writing on his official blog, Mr Gates spoke about how the pair met at high school and obsessed over the first computer that arrived there.
“We spent just about all our free time messing around with any computer we could get our hands on,” the 62-year old said.
The technology icon described how Mr Allen “foresaw that computers would change the world” before everyone else, predicting computer chips would one day become super-powerful.
“Microsoft would never have happened without Paul,” Mr Gates said.
“One day he came and got me, insisting that I rush over to a nearby news stand with him.
“When we arrived, he showed me the cover of the January issue of Popular Electronics.
“It featured a new computer, called the Altair 8800, which ran on a powerful new chip.
“Paul looked at me and said: ‘This is happening without us.’ That moment marked the end of my college career and the beginning of our new company, Microsoft. It happened because of Paul.”
Mr Gates also spoke about the billionaire philanthropist’s other passions, including playing Jimi Hendrix music and following his basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
“When I think about Paul, I remember a passionate man who held his family and friends dear,” he said.
“I also remember a brilliant technologist and philanthropist who wanted to accomplish great things, and did.”
Mr Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.