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on 8 September 1997
This isn't a patch on Hard Drive. Whereas Hard Drive was one of the best reads I've had, Overdrive is neither objective or intesting.

It seems apparent that Hard Drive benefited substantially from having Jim Erickson as one of the authors.

Overdrive is written by James Wallace alone. And it shows. His biased negative opinion of Microsoft shows through.

Wallace is also not a very good writer.

For example, when writing about the actions undertaken by the Justice Department to investigate Microsoft, Wallace documents boring details about which lawyers were involved, what their backgrounds were, etc., and he stretches this section out until it is completely out of place in this book.

This is a difficult read because of the bias and poor writing ability of Wallace.
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on 13 June 1997
I enjoyed reading Overdrive and while initialy
reserving judgement on a book that uses

journalistic sources rather than references,

appreciated alot of the connivery going on. The

observation about Philippe Kahn, a long time

nemesis who dared, and

Bill Gates, being like matter and anti-matter

trying to exist in the same space was great.

The Spyglass deal on how the legal manouveurs

came about to attain the Mosaic browser and the

amazement captured by quotes from the Spyglass

people directly involved when they found it was

to be distributed "free", was one word: amazing.

The plentiful quotes from all the people

involved, and the detail on the deal making

involved say with Java, the centrepiece of the

next revolution of technology, both in and

outside of Microsoft, bespeaks well of the energy

this author devoted to his topic and the obvious

cooperation he received from everyone involved

but surprisingly, the increasingly withdrawn,

Bill Gates.

I think however that Wallace should have put more

into his closing chapter, leaving a certain empty

feeling just after closing the book. I thought a

more speculative ending with more on the likely

fallout of the dichotomy between Gates balancing

anti-competitive restraints on unfavourable

change with the favourable change, all within his

control, would have been more enlightening.

It is though very disturbing to me that on one

heartbeat is portrayed an industry domination

resting, like no other that has been attained in

US business history but that is just the way

indeed it has been allowed to happen. The

conclusion from this book and the previous one,

makes it shallow, in some way, in that it is very

difficult to see anything but an imploding

Microsoft, taking down financial markets, in its

wake, without this one man, that may in fact be

an embellishment. The moxy gamesmanship, the

menacing marketing, and the obsessive

determinination to beat all comers to a pulp,

that Wallace has captured of William Henry Gates

III, while I am sure is not the final word on

this company it nevertheless is a compelling,

disturbing story of either success or excess.

This one I enjoyed.
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on 2 September 1997
A lot of book exist about the story of Microsoft from its start to about 1993-1994. Until now there wasn't one detailing the events after that year.
Starting from the day of the Windows 95 world wide widespread (I just need 3 W words!) it take us on a tour about what happened in the last years, from the legal causes to the main change of road that has taken Microsoft to be a dominant player also in the Internetet market.
The book has its major flaws in the fact that sometimes is not so deep and leaves a lot of things pending. Beside that it talks a lot about how a judge was about to change the ruling of the FTC based on author previous book. I don't live in America but I think that american judges could go deeper that a single book (it seems a sort of free promotion of its previuos book!). Also the parte about Gates marriage is a little to long, but it's fun.

Despite all this flaws the book has one HUGE merit: it's the only that exist now about the subject. I think it's worth reading, but maybe an update release in one year or so would be very appreciated by readers (maybe just one two chapter free of charge on the web would be nice).
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on 14 May 1997
When you're the richest man in the world, how much
of an underdog can you possibly be? If you throw
enough money at a problem, you can do things like
send a man to the moon, build nuclear weapons,
and yes, even beat Netscape. Is it any surprise
that Microsoft is becoming a major player in the
Internet? It's only a matter of time before Gates
misses another parade, and then marches out in
front and claims to lead it.
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on 19 March 1998
A fascinating subject, one really gets the feeling this is the cutting edge of technology, of enormous significance for the future. A titanic struggle in the field of "high bandwidth intellect". The anecdotes are at times fascinating,at times drawn out.Some excess detail is given at times,but overall a great read. My wife says "Why can't you make money like that?"
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on 10 June 1997
After reading Hard Drive, the prequel to OverDrive last summer, I was left with a huge gap from where the book left off, to where Microsoft is now. This book fills that gap. For a perosn who really likes Microsoft, ar at least really wants to know what really happens over there in Redmond, this is a great book to read.
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on 14 June 1998
I'm actually quite surprised at all the decent reviews of this book...I had to double-check that I had the right page on Amazon's site. Overdrive is an extremely poor quality follow-up to the excellent Hard Drive and has little to its merit. It is a disjointed, unfocused, biased, poorly written, and outright painful read. I agree with the comment that Jim Erickson's contribution must have been substantial; the evidence is overwhelming. I have read almost every book on Gates and Microsoft I could get my hands on, and this one qualifies without a shadow of doubt as the worst. Buyers of this book will walk away with some dollars less in their pocket and very little else...in fact, it's only been a couple of weeks since I read it and I already can't remember anything of substance whatsoever. Save your money for the original Hard Drive...a far superior work and still relevant.
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on 1 July 1998
This book filled the gap that was left after HardDrive left off. but of course, i would want an update to this book already, its been out just over a year, and its almost outdated. Just to show you how fast Microsoft moves
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