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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Superb, excellent, this book really captures the mind. Gates shows how intelligent he is with some of his predictions, which will make our lives easier and safer. May of his predictions are suddenly creeping into the market place.In the book Gates describes how technology has advanced, and of course how he thinks it will further advance. He explains things simply and...
Published on 24 Nov. 1999 by andy352@hotmail.com

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but...
I had assumed this was the full book - it's only the Pre-Intermediate level book and so this was only 48 pages long. It's an extremely short version; this was my own fault for not checking but I thought I should just give you a heads-up.
Published on 27 Jun. 2007 by Mr. A. Kalam


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 24 Nov. 1999
This review is from: The Road Ahead (Paperback)
Superb, excellent, this book really captures the mind. Gates shows how intelligent he is with some of his predictions, which will make our lives easier and safer. May of his predictions are suddenly creeping into the market place.In the book Gates describes how technology has advanced, and of course how he thinks it will further advance. He explains things simply and clearly. The beggining of the book is not to great, but the rest of the book is excellent. As gates says at the beggining of the book, ' anyone who is expecting a biography of Bill Gates has choosen the wrong book'.This is true, Gates is simply acting as a philiosopher in the technological world.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait of Gates and the World We Know, 28 Oct. 2011
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
I feel almost embarrassed now when I think of how I paid twenty-pence for this book in a charity shop, as it is easily my best read this year. Would I have paid full price for it in a book shop? Most likely not, as previously, I was never too interested in Gates as a person and since this book is neither a personal biography nor a fully fledged academic source, I wouldn't take the risk. In part, I wish I had earlier.

'The Road Ahead' may not fit precisely into either of the former categories, but what it does provide is a wonderful series of accounts from a man who was so positive about the future that he decided to outline how he thought it would all pan out. His authorship is more often than not effortless, and this helps for an incredibly enjoyable read - surprisingly, I might add, given that Gates is not someone you wouldn't normally associate with being a competent author.

Of course, in order to look to the future, Gates refers to his own past and creates a nice groundwork with some insight into his own youth and the efforts that he made to take his work from a computer school terminal to a fully fledged company called 'Microsoft'. As I stated earlier, this isn't a full autobiography, but it lays down some nice facts about the computer business in general and how Microsoft came to being. From this, I ultimately felt a lot of respect for the guy and he too appears incredibly down-to-earth and shows mutual respect for other entrepreneurs in the 1980's, such as the late Steve Jobs. It was warming to read of how the two were actually very good friends, which leads the whole 'Microsoft vs Apple war' as something of a mediated frenzy that people love to stoke.

The latter part of the book delves into Gates' predictions for the future, and how the 'current' (1995/6) technologies would be reformed. This is of course where things get very interesting as we can analyse just how many of his ideas came true, and what failed to materialise. Some of my favourite areas to highlight:

- He believed that 'emotions' (the use punctuation symbols in normal text to convey facial expressions) would be phased out and dead once Broadband Internet was available... Oh how wrong he was!

;o)

- The 'Wallet Computer' that he refers to, which is very, very close to the modern iPhone except for the fact that he believed it would be housed in a wallet. It could understand speech ('Siri') could tell you where to go (Google Maps) store data in a computer terminal far away (iCloud/DropBox) and could even offer a variety of different news topics such as the weather or stocks (Apps). Its amazing how close this guy was.

- Throughout the entire book, his references to a user who would be consuming a technology is constantly a male. Rather than saying 'His or hers', Gates consistently references "He" and "His", which I thought was a bit oblivious in terms of sex. Could be why his pocket computer was housed in a "wallet" and not having a purse counterpart...

- "At Microsoft, were working hard to make software software. No one should be stuck with an assistant who doesn't learn from experience". This made me chuckle, thinking about 'that' little Paperclip dude from the early version of MS Office... For a supposed assistant, he did little in the way of help and more in the way of hinderance!

After reading, you're left with one ultimate question; why didn't he pursue so many of these technologies further? A large majority of the services he predicted would come to fruition are now actually offered by Apple, for they have pushed innovation to extreme limits over the past decade, and yet Gates already had most of these ideas in mind. Sure enough, he will regularly assure the reader by saying things such as "We're working on it" or "... it will come in the next few years", but alas, they never. This is a pity for his positive nature is astounding, and could have in reality paved the way for many of the technologies we take for granted today to, actually, be developed than we could have known. Perhaps he lost enthusiasm, or was relying on other companies to pursue these ideas.

Regardless, 'The Road Ahead' is probably more enjoyable today than it was in 1996.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into the man behind Microsoft, 28 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
I read Hard Drive in the past and wanted to read it again but ordered this in error. However it is great and interesting to read this from Bill Gates own perspective. Have also now ordered Hard Drive to read again.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but..., 27 Jun. 2007
By 
Mr. A. Kalam - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I had assumed this was the full book - it's only the Pre-Intermediate level book and so this was only 48 pages long. It's an extremely short version; this was my own fault for not checking but I thought I should just give you a heads-up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed from start to finish., 16 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Road Ahead (Paperback)
Bought this to read while on a beach holiday and enjoyed it so much it's the first book in a long time that held my interest to read it to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 26 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
A nice little read which gives insight into Gates and his early work which is both inspiring and amazing. Would 100% recommend
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 23 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
Well worth a read for anyone who is interested in the possible future of technology and how it will be used. Great value too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for all the wrong reasons!, 18 May 2010
This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
I love this book and have re-read it a many times since I first got my copy in 1995. Basically it's Bill Gates predicting the future and getting it rather wrong. The chapter about the `wallet PC' that opens doors and lets you walk out of shops with stuff without paying for it is priceless reading in 2010.

And the section on portable telephones that one day could have cameras in them is like listening to your Nan talking about `horseless carriages'.

Most of all it's the neutral, obedient, sanitised world that he describes (and patently longs for) and his blythe confidence on it's eventual arrival that is most telling and worrying. You read it in 2010 and thank God that his predictions were so wide of the mark.

The fact that he was prepared to go on the record and predict the future shows what a cock-sure fool he was back at the height of his powers in 1995.

I thank the lord that his grip has relinquished since these heady days.

(BTW: The guy who says that this is the abridged version is wrong. This is the full version. ie, not only did he buy the abridged version by accident but he then wrote a review on the wrong edition...)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Gates - The Road Ahead, 3 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: The Road Ahead (Hardcover)
I ordered this book from an Amazon seller for £1.29 used with free delivery. I have to say. The book came within a few days and was in good condition.
So Gates' 1995 'predictions' at the moment seem pretty accurate. I'm only a chapter in and he's already mentioned applications' which will act as tools to help us in our everyday lives. An example of this could be Iphone of Blackberry apps.
But I really like the balance between biographical elements and the message he is trying to convey. Certainly 'the information highway' he describes is much like today's internet. Although some ideas seem strange, others are perfectly accurate.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the future of technology. As other sellers have said, if you're looking for a biography, you won't get it, but something so much more inspiring and uplifting. It feels great to be reading the words (and thoughts) of the second richest man alive and I defy all people to read this, because, as Bill says, the future of technology, and technological advances will affect all of us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 24 Nov. 1999
This review is from: The Road Ahead (Paperback)
Superb, excellent, this book really captures the mind. Gates shows how intelligent he is with some of his predictions, which will make our lives easier and safer. May of his predictions are suddenly creeping into the market place.In the book Gates describes how technology has advanced, and of course how he thinks it will further advance. He explains things simply and clearly. The beggining of the book is not to great, but the rest of the book is excellent. As gates says at the beggining of the book, ' anyone who is expecting a biography of Bill Gates has choosen the wrong book'.This is true, Gates is simply acting as a philiosopher in the technological world.
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