Point of order m'lud...
"Gates' comments reveal the seven other board members were not behind the deal."
Um, no. The article you linked to says no such thing. All it tells us is that Gates himself was in favour of the deal... it tells us NOTHING about how the rest of the board felt about it, nor that Ballmer was unable to convince the board without Bill's help.
Now it may be that the fact that Mr Bill "The Internet is Irrelevant" Gates was in favour of the deal is not exactly cause for confidence in the decision, but there's no need to paint the facts in a curious shade of fiction/speculation to get this point across.