Bill Gates Teen Idol

The Monkey Methods blog has posted pictures of a young Bill Gates supposedly posing for a Teen Beat photospread back in 1983. I'm willing to believe that the photos are real pictures of a young Bill. But I'm not willing to believe that they're from Teen Beat, not unless more evidence is provided, such as a scan of the article itself. Some of the people who have posted comments on the Monkey Methods blog have pointed out problems with the claim that these photos are from 1983. For instance, there's clearly an Apple Computer a Macintosh visible in the first picture. But the Apple Macintosh only began to be sold in 1984. Plus, why in the world would Teen Beat have wanted to do a photospread of Bill Gates?
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Update: These pictures were taken in 1985 by celebrity photographer Deborah Feingold shortly after the release of Windows 1.0. This information comes from, which has these photos in their database. There's no evidence that they ever appeared in Teen Beat.


Posted on Mon Jan 17, 2005


I think these are from 1985, not from Teen Beat 1983. The box in the back is for Windows Environment. The 1.0 of that was not released until August of 1985 I believe.
Posted by Jiaqi Li  on  Mon Jan 17, 2005  at  06:25 PM
They're hilarious, but I'm doubting they're real.
Posted by Reynard Muldrake  on  Mon Jan 17, 2005  at  06:50 PM
Doubtful that it would be Teen Beat, I was reading that mag (I was young!) at that time, it ran to the Coreys in world at that point. (Haim etc).

About the release period....even if something wasn't released yet, wouldn't he have had access to the up and coming product before general release? I'm thinking the pic was something nerdy/promotional.

As an aside, he looks high as hell.
Posted by Winona  on  Mon Jan 17, 2005  at  07:07 PM
Why in the world would Teen Beat NOT have wanted to do a photospread of Bill Gates? Isn't he just sooooo CUTE??
Posted by paul in prague  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  03:15 AM
Umm...I was not yet tying my shoes when this supposedly occured. But WHO the hell would take those pics? (Yes, pual in prauge, aside from the fact that Bill Gates is hot...;o)

Who needs pictures of a nerd on a desk?
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  08:11 AM
The Mac in the background doesn't mean it's not 1983; Microsoft had early access to the Mac, as early as fall of 1981, because Apple wanted them to develop for it.
Posted by John Stracke  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  09:00 AM
The compact Mac as we know it was not released to developers before release. More likely they would have had Apple Lisas with Mac guts.
Posted by Gordonjcp  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  11:34 AM
"Ok, show it to me now, that's it baby, work it, work it, make love to the camera, show me your playful side, that's it, now, seduce me, make me love you, make me ignore every fault, inconsistency, gaping hole and crash, that's it, make me want it baby, make love to the camera..."
Posted by Gee...  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  04:07 PM
>Umm...I was not yet tying my shoes when this >supposedly occured

Aw man, now I feel really really old. 😉
(I'm 32 now)

Off to look for grey hairs....
Posted by Winona  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  05:09 PM

The photos are from 1985.
Posted by kitty  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  05:16 PM
He's so dreamy!
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  08:12 PM
It's definitely 1985, at minimum. Forget the Mac for a moment. There's clearly a Windows 1.0 box next to the Mac in the second picture. A bit blurry, yes, but I know what the box looks like.
Posted by melon  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  11:21 PM
I agree. The MAC didn't come out until 1985. I remember switching from VAX to Windoze to Mac 😉...back in the day.
Posted by dude  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  02:23 AM
> For instance, there's clearly an Apple Computer visible in the > first picture. But the Apple only began to be sold in 1984.

Bzzzt. Apple first sold computers in 1976, and the rather successful Apple II hit the market in '77. It was the *Macintosh* that debuted in '84 (and is shown in the first picture).

Don't try debunking with such a sloppy understanding of computing history, please.
Posted by Sean Willard  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  03:07 AM
Okay, so you guys don't know the history of the Mac and Windows. Microsoft did indeed have Macs in-house long before the release of the computer. Apple needed software and Microsoft obliged. In fact, didn't you know:

1: Word and Excel were first written for the Mac, and they were released on the same day as the Mac in 1984? That would be 20 years ago next month, in fact. That would take a few years to develop, right? I just head one of the main Mac developers say just the other day at MacWorld that Microsoft had a first prototype in '81. His new book just came out

2: Apple was angry with Microsoft for ripping off the MacOS in Windows, which Microsoft had plenty of time to do before the Mac was released. Watch "Pirates of Silicon Valley." Steve Wozniak has said that movie was pretty accurate factually on the main points of the story.
Posted by Steve Jobs  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  09:49 AM
This photo is NOT from 1983, it's 1984 as evidenced by the "artifacts" in the background.
In 1984, Gates had a huge media push....and was on both the COVERS of Time and Newsweek, as well as in a blerb in Cosmo (ooh, single rich man), and in all sorts of magazine features and newspaper articles. 1984 was to be the debut of Windows (it was announced that year)and there are the mockup demo boxes shown.
A big deal was made in 1984, in the "year in review" because he was on BOTH of the news magazine covers.
The "6-pack Mac" as it was called by journalists, in the background was "officially" released in 1984 (although, not many were around, I had a review version of it in very late 1983, that had a few production flaws). The PC in the background was an IBM, from 1984. Note,it has a single floppy....of the large variety. It wasn't even the top of the line with "dual floppy drives".
This was in one of the "teen" magazines....and I'd guess Teen Beat, because I seem to remember that name. It was only two pages, and it was all fluff.
(But, even with all the cleaning up and air brushing...they couldn't get the "sleeze" out of him.)
Posted by meetsy  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  02:23 PM
The PC in the background is an AT with the single half-height, high-density floppy drive that was standard equipment. A second was an option.
Posted by A. Nonny Moose  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  11:22 AM
FYI, Gates owns Corbis. So apparently, Bill gave his blessing to have these pictures available online! 😛

Posted by daniel  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  05:31 PM
Looks like James Spader.
Posted by Lucy  on  Fri Jan 21, 2005  at  10:54 PM
I all agree with you on the Mac, but didn't Bill Gates got some models BEFORE THEY WERE RELEASED???

Makes me wonder... And by the way. If you have your own develloping, wouldn't it be logic he had a version of windows before it was released???

I really think sombody should check the real archive, before they jump to conclusions.
Posted by Ariaan  on  Tue Feb 08, 2005  at  02:37 AM
:coolmad: :long: :down:
Posted by Manchester  on  Wed Apr 20, 2005  at  12:48 AM
Hey . . . look hard at the background in the first pic. There's a Windows box. Proof.
I find him a WHOLE lot more attractive now. Sexy, even. 😛
Posted by Cat  on  Fri Jun 17, 2005  at  02:10 AM
Did Bill send those pictures to his future wife.
Posted by don  on  Mon Dec 12, 2005  at  07:34 PM
:sick: :zip:
Posted by me  on  Sat Mar 04, 2006  at  03:21 PM
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