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Paul Allen Sends Condolences To Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs

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Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft, sent out a Twitter message to honor Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away at age 56 on Wednesday after battling cancer. ------------------------- My condolences to Steve Jobs family and friends. We’ve lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. ------------------------- In Allen's recent autobiography, Idea Man, Allen calls Jobs a "grand thinker" and happily recalls an ongoing debate between the two technology innovators over whether a computer mouse should have one or two buttons. ------------------------- After I let it slip that we were planning a mouse for Microsoft Word, Jobs put their one-button mouse through its paces. When I asked him whether the two buttons might be better, he passionately lectured me: "You know, Paul, this is all about simplicity versus complexity. And nobody needs more than one button on a mouse." I said, "But Steve, people have more than one finger, and there's going to be things they might want to do with a right click, too." Jobs dismissed my point with a shake of the head. He believed in making the entry-level experience as unintimidating as possible -- and that there was usually one and only one correct way to do things. At Microsoft, we tried to balance simplicity with power. I considered the trade-off worthwhile if an extra feature made a program or device more functional. ... In time, I'd be vindicated... The Microsoft Mouse thrived through many incarnations -- optical, wireless, laser, Bluetooth -- as one of the company's longest-lived products. And every one of those mice had more than one button.... In 2005, after twenty-two years of one-button worship, Apple relented and released the multibutton Mighty Mouse. ------------------------- Later in the book, Allen wrote that "the world of Jobs offers limited options (there's only one basic flavor of iPhone), but everything plugs and plays together and is guaranteed to work. That's a formula that can trump consumers' natural resistance to walled gardens and their predilection for choice." He also called Apple "the ultimate auteur company with the most fervent cult following in the business." Apple.com has turned into a simple tribute page for Jobs and there's a message from the company as well. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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