California's IT players said they stayed away from their TV screens Sunday evening as the premiere of Pirates of Silicon Valley, Hollywood's version of the rise (and fall) of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, was aired to the nation.
The two hour long TV movie was the result of months of digging for anecdotes among Silicon Valley veterans by the film makers, but one industry consultant based in Sunnyvale, California, who works extensively with Apple, said Sunday's show had not been a topic of conversation around the Valley the following morning.
"Most people know the real story and are a bit blase about it," said Mark Macgillivray, consultant at H&M Consulting. "Also, we've been hearing so much about it and seen so many clips we feel we've seen it already," he continued.
The film opens with Jobs announcing at MacWorld in 1997 that Microsoft was to invest $150 million in Apple, which drew boos and hisses from the audience.
The film then takes a rollercoater journey through the beginnings of the desktop industry, including how Jobs got the idea for the mouse and graphical user interface from an exclusive viewing of the original developments at Xerox Parc and how Microsoft licensed DOS to IBM, without having developed a product.
Microsoft later bought the framework for DOS from a little known Seattle software company for $50,000, the exact amount that IBM paid to license DOS from Microsoft.
Although the movie does take some artistic license and that the sequence of events are slightly wrong, it does provide an insight into the personalities of the players.
Jobs is portrayed as a drug taking, charismatic but temperamental young man who made his employees work a 90 hour week and be proud of it, even while criticising their work. Meanwhile, Gates is a poker playing nerd with a stash of Playboy magazines, who is briefly put behind bars in for a traffic offence.
It also highlighted the important roles of the friends that would also support Gates and Jobs in their careers. Jobs' college buddy and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, is portrayed as a good natured and loyal friend who slams Jobs for humiliating a job applicant by asking him whether he is a virgin.
Steve Balmer, Microsoft's president who was at Harvard with Gates, is a boisterous character urging Gates to attend strip joints instead of writing programmes.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the company would not comment on a film in which it had no involvement, but did say received a video of it before it was aired. Apple failed to comment.
Meanwhile, Gates is still the richest man on the planet, according to the latest calculations from Forbes magazine. His personal worth is now worth $90 billion, from $51 billion last year. In one point in April, it actually broke through the $100 billion barrier.
Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen sits on $30 billion, while Microsoft president, Steve Ballmer, has amassed $19.5 billion.
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