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Microsoft has paid tribute to its ‘indispensable’ co-founder Paul Allen after the technology trail-blazer passed away aged 65 following a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Allen is reported to have passed away on Monday afternoon just weeks after learning that his cancer, thought to have been treated in 2009, had returned.

Best known as Microsoft co-founder, alongside Bill Gates in 1975, Allen was also a keen follower of American football and basketball (he owned the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trailblazers) and had latterly established Vulcan as a philanthropic vehicle with a view to harnessing technology to improve the planet.

Taking to Twitter Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote: “Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world.

“I have learned so much from him – his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for higher standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft. Our heart’s are with Paul’s family and loved ones. Rest in peace.”

In a statement posted on Vulcan’s website Allen’s sister, Jody, wrote: “My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”  

Since moving on from Microsoft gates has also turned to philanthropy, establishing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.