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The Road Ahead: Completely Revised and Up-to-Date Revised Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140260403
ISBN-10: 0140260404
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Microsoft CEO Gates's musings on the future of the digital age spent 14 weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This recording, the third based on Gates's best-selling book (the original abridgment was reviewed in Audio Reviews, LJ 1/96; the unabridged edition was reviewed in Audio Reviews, LJ 8/96), has been updated to include Gates's?and by extension, MicrosoftR's?sudden realization that the Internet is the Holy Grail of computing. Having been beaten to the punch by Netscape Communications (whose ubiquitous World Wide Web browsers own anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of the market), Gates finds himself playing catch-up. Here, he lays out MicrosoftR's internet strategies and outlines a brief history of the Internet's meteoric rise in popularity. Thankfully, after reading the new and revised passages, our nerdy-voiced host hands the ball off to reader Rick Adamson, who seems much more comfortable in front of a microphone. Recommended for libraries that passed on the previous two audio incarnations of The Road Ahead and for larger collections wherein popular technology materials circulate well.?Mark Annichiarico, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140260404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140260403
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Seriously this is Bill Gates talking about the future but out of 300 pages about 9 are dedicated to talking about the internet -- and most of that is buried with other information. Lots of talk about applications and appliances that did not materialize....one book you need to read because-- then you know that all the gurus DO NOT KNOW everythng !! Wonderful for entrepreneurs who dont' doubt their own paths on their road ahead......
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Format: Paperback
Bill Gates is a first class teacher. That is one of the most striking things you learn about him after reading what he writes. So to his talents of being a first class businessman, a first class programmer, first class mathematician and first class tech leader, you can add not a bad book author, given that this is his first incursion into the field of literature.

The big question however is why you would want to read a book that is dated 1996 about technology? The answer is four-fold. First of all, it's Bill Gates and how he thinks. Second, this book has an odd sort of history to it. Third, only some things in this book are coming to pass and much of it remains open or in development. Forth, you can still learn heaps from it although this stuff that has to come to pass doesn't have the same impact it did when he predicted it. However there is a little bit of controversy over how much he did predict and this is explained in the preface.

After launching the book in 1995, Bill Gates quickly revised it for a 1996 edition that focused on the Internet. It was only after releasing the 1995 book that Gates watched as the Internet unexpectedly achieved a mass sufficient to turn heads in the industry. Gates responded by making Microsoft Internet orientated and revising his book, The Road Ahead. So this book is a combination of how Gates predicts the future and how he suddenly reacted when the future came in unpredictably ahead of schedule.

1 - A Revolution Begins
Bill Gates discusses his history as a child growing up with computers. He describes what he was doing with very simple machines the size of a refrigerator and how he and Paul Allen in their teens developed software for businesses. He talks a lot about microprocessors and Intel.
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Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of the book a few years ago. It was also translated into Russian in 1997. And now when I'm reading "Business @ Speed of Thought" I take a look into the second edition of "The Road Ahead" and read it again. Considering that this book was written in 1995-96, the predictions he made are quite remarkable in their prophecy. The founder of Microsoft presents his vision for the future in which he sees the digital technologies of the coming years changing the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate. And this man definitely knows the future.
"The Road Ahead" is very much primarily an easy-to-read IT textbook. This book tells you what lies ahead in the future for everyday living world of computers. Will everyone in the world have access to computers in our future? Will everyone gain access to the Internet? Will we be able to walk in a store and pick out whatever we want to, and walk out of the store without being a shoplifter? Read this amazing book and find out the answers to these questions and more.
It also includes CD-ROM containing the complete text of the book, a dictionary with multimedia hyperlinks and an interview with Bill Gates. It is still extraordinary. This CD-ROM illustrates the future of electronic publishing.
I interviewed Bill Gates in 1990 when he visited Moscow for the first time to introduce the very first Microsoft product in Russian language. It was MS-DOS 4.0. Then I wrote several books on MS-DOS and IT for beginners.
Bill Gates was worth "only" $2.5 billion in 1990. It is estimated that hundreds million people today have personal computers in their home. Over ninety-five percent of them are operating Windows Operating Systems. Today Microsoft really enjoys the self-made monopoly.
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By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought the book couple of days ago and it didn't take me much time to through. What genuinely surprised me is the number of Mr. Gates' thoughts about the Info Highway that came true: customizable portals, fight for broadband between phone and cable companies, online auctions and etc. I don't recall any other so called "visionaries" and "experts" talking about it in back 1995...
Many people don't like Gates because he's so rich, but I think that he and all Microsoft (yes, MS is not Bill Gates alone!) team deserved it for all their hard work and vision. I think that Bill Gates' success is that Microsoft managed to create the world where its products are the most needed ones to allow his company to stay on the top... He and his team deserve full credit for this feat.
At the same time I wish good luck to all young entrepreneurs who will start their companies and deprive Microsoft of its reins eventually. This is the capitalism, a great system with opportunities for everyone with guts.
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Format: Paperback
Written just at the brink of the Internet revolution, Bill Gates (Microsoft CEO) predicts what will happen in the future in regards to computers. Gates predicts that computers will become even more prevalent and become more indispensable. Roughly the first quarter of the book is dedicated to computer history and Gates' early computer experiences. Also, Gates writes a synopsis of the start of Microsoft.
Much of the book deals with the future of e-commerce and how the consumer will win with more choices. Also chapters are dedicated to the benefits to the economy when technology becomes more infused with daily life. In addition, he predicts that computers will become smarter and be able to learn about the user and response quicker, even guessing ahead of time what a user's request might be. Gates feels that it is important to include computers in school, as children can learn better with them.
I felt Gates' predictions were a bit overly optimistic. I also felt that with the coming of this new technology that the end of privacy would result. While Gates does address this issue, I felt that it was treated in a light matter. The book is about 6 years old and his predictions were largely on the money. However, some the products he sees have yet to come to fruition. I didn't I find many of his plans too laughable, but some bordered Orwellian. The audience of the book need not be overly technical to understand the book, only an interest in where computers will take us next is required.
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