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Lot #5054
Bill Gates Document Signed

Bill Gates reflects on 'The Future of Macintosh,' just weeks prior to Apple's famous lawsuit against Microsoft

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Estimate: $1500+
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Bill Gates reflects on 'The Future of Macintosh,' just weeks prior to Apple's famous lawsuit against Microsoft

Important DS, signed “William H. Gates,” one page, 8.5 x 11, April 30, 1988. Gates consents to the release of his lecture, 'The Future of Macintosh,' given before the Boston Computer Society at MIT on February 8, 1988, as part of Charles Mann's "educational series of audiotapes relating to computers entitled 'The Powersharing Series.'" Boldly signed in full at the conclusion in bold ink by Gates using his legal name, and countersigned in ballpoint by Mann. In fine condition. Accompanied by a photocopy of Mann's letter to Gates, enclosing the release; Mann's retained FedEx waybill for shipping the finished tapes to gates for his approval; and a release signed by Steven Snyder on Gates' behalf for a talk given on June 3, 1987, on 'Future Developments in Personal Computers.'

The resource guide to The Powersharing Series offers a vignette about the speaker and his talk: 'The co-founder and CEO of Microsoft tells the story of the Macintosh, past and future, just before Apple hit Microsoft with the famous lawsuit.' Just weeks later, on March 17, 1988, Apple filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing 189 different elements of its Macintosh operating system to create Windows 2.0. At the time of its introduction in 1984, Microsoft was the biggest third-party developer for the Macintosh. Gates was so impressed with the operating system—especially the novelty and user-friendliness of the GUI—that he convinced Apple to license the use of Macintosh features in Windows 1.0 and all future Microsoft software programs. The courts found that any allegations of copyright infringement by Apple were covered by the existing license. By the time all related appeals and petitions came to an end in 1995, Microsoft had grown into a personal computing behemoth, and Apple teetered on the brink of collapse.

From the Charles Mann Powersharing Collection.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Apple, Jobs, and Computer Hardware
  • Dates: #644 - Ended August 18, 2022

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