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Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry-And Made Himself the Richest Man in America Hardcover – 1 Jan 1993

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (Jan. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385420757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385420754
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 947,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews
Stephen Manes has covered the computer industry for more than ten years as a columnist and contributing editor for "PC Magazine, PC/Computing," and "PC Sources." Paul Andrews reports on technology for the "Seattle Times" where he covers Microsoft and writes a weekly column on computers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read most of the "histories" of Microsoft and Bill Gates and having been around the PC industry for a couple of decades, this was the only one of the books that triggered more "I remember that" reactions than "Wait a minute, that wasn't what happened" reactions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently read Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography [Kindle Edition] and, having done so, checked for an appropriate book about Bill Gates.

This book seemed to be the obvious one to choose.

Having worked with computers since before both Gates or Jobs, albeit rather less successfully, I was interested to see how my remembrance of the development of personal computers - generic small 'p' and small 'c' - mapped to the books' content.

Having both books on the Kindle, it was an easy matter to identify common points in each book, and compare how they were spun. I think 'spun' is the right word because each book tends to discount the subject of the other book as being of any real importance. The authors of this book went rather overboard to discount the part that Jobs played and in doing so, lost a little credibility, for me.

Having read both, I found the facts in each to be pretty much spot on and I was surprised to find I liked the Bill Gates as portrayed more than I did Steve Jobs.

All in all, I found this book an engrossing read. It was flawed only in its premature end in 1993, with only some short additions to cover the next 20 years. While I appreciate that a full update would have been a huge undertaking, a lot has happened in that 20 years. As the update at the back of the book asks: "so how did Jobs manage it?".

For me, the two stories become reality in what I now see before me. From 1983 to 2010 I used DOS and all versions of Windows, learning to kludge things throughout that time as a natural need to make the systems work effectively. Eventually, the fact that my PCs were always heavily slowed down by the need for copious anti-virus software topped me into switching to Apple. Productivity wise, there's no competition.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the most personal look at Bill Gates I've ever seen. It gives an insider's view of what it was really like to work for Microsoft in the early years. This includes everything from Bill's temper tantrums to his personal hygiene and old girlfriends. A must read for any Bill Gates follower!
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite books of all time - I have read it through twice, and I'm reading it again. It's so worn out that soon I will have to order a new one from amazon.com!

Seriously, this really is a great book. It's mind-boggling to think of what it took to get all the information contained in it. The book not only gives a complete history of the life of Bill Gates but also contains most of the history of the entire computer industry.

I reccomend this book to anyone who has any interest in computers at all.
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Format: Paperback
This was the best book that I have ever read. It honestly changed my life. I was always interested in computers and technology (mabye that is why I am majoring in Electrical Engineering) but this book helped me focus my dreams of starting a company in high-technology. This book gives the formula for being extremely rich and successful. The choice is yours whether or not to use it and make all the sacrifices that goes with it. This book shows what kind of person it takes to create a multi-billion dollar corporations. Incredible drive, superior intellect, and expert salesmanship. You will also get some insite into how some of the other multi-million dollar names came about. If you have interest in business and computers, this book is a must read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Only slight criticism that it jumped back and forth by years and I sometimes I found it a bit difficult to follow chronologically

Would recommend but just to remind anybody interested that this book is pretty much pre Windows 95 apart from the short update at the end.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the version of Microsoft and the rise of Gates that you should read if you think that computers are utterly wonderful and fascinating things in themselves: it is full of breathless excitment, multiple exclamation points, and minute personal detail. The tone of the book would suggest that the development of software for the PC is as fantastic a technological achievement as putting men on the moon, or even, if you go along with the quote that precedes the introduction, as godlike as the creation of the universe. (I kid you not on that quote.)

However, if you think of computers as a flawed, though useful tool that you want to use, that you want to work for the task at hand and do not care to coax it through innumerable design flaws and bugs, that kind of ga-ga view is as preposterous as it is specious. I found reading this a dreary task of wending my way though a proliferation of silly adjectives and presumptions about the significance of what was being achieved. Don't get me wrong, I love my computer and its instant info access (particularly as a writer), but I do not equate it with anything as significant as the invention of movable type. If you never felt like a god while programming a hobbyist computer or shared kid geeks' excitment at telephoning a mainframe in the late 1960s - what these first programmers were achieving is never even explained, as the book assumes the reader should know - this gets pretty tedious after a few hundred pages of pure hyperbole. Unbelievable as it may seem, there are those of us who want their computers to work as reliably and simply as toasters (as an acquaintence, who is an employee at MS, characterised me).

That tone aside, you get a fairly good idea of how Gates did what he did up until the early 1990s.
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