Cutler forced a smile, a paper cup in his hand. Gates struggled with the top of a champagne bottle, his glasses sliding down his nose. Gathered in the hardware lab in late July 1989, the team gawked at Gates, whom most had not seen for months. Then the cork popped and the champagne flowed. Gates saluted the team. People cheered. Cutler lifted a chocolate cake, with the words Power On Portasys (which stood for Portable Systems, the team’s formal name) inscribed on the icing. His chin jutted out proudly, a tight smile exposing gritted teeth. More cheers.
Moments before, Gates had grabbed a switch on a makeshift PC powered by Intel’s i860 chip. His hair was a mess, and he wore a Pale blue dress shirt, open at the neck, and tan ...