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The Road Ahead Paperback – November 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0140257274 ISBN-10: 0140257276 Edition: 2nd

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin USA (P); 2 edition (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140257276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140257274
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,460,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Customer Reviews

And the book is really fun reading.
Bill Butler
And he is not that much more clear about the highway than the people he criticizes for not knowing what the highway means.
Antonio Sacin (abreviatio@aol.com)
This book is about the history of computers, Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen's involvement in computers.
Rebel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Schwarz on March 12, 2005
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Petrochenkov on January 30, 2001
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on January 9, 2008
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.

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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful 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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The Road Ahead is a novel about how computer technology effects our lives. The book explains how Bill Gates was introduced to computers at the young age of 13 (a rarity in 1969). He also practicly designed software for an entire computer terminal at age 13 1/2. Bill's obsession carried him through grade school and then through high school. Eventually, he got into Harvard University. While in Harvard he designed more advanced software for a brand new computer he saw in a magazine. When Bill tried to give his software to various companies they rejected him. Discouraged, Gates dropped out of Harvard after his sophomore year. After dropping out he decided to star his own company. Perhaps you have heard of it, the most successful homemade software company in the world, Microsoft.
Bill Gates is obviously the most important character in the book. He is a persistent and determined man. He is very bright, and his life revolves completely around computers. Because of Gate's hard work, he is one of the wealthiest men in the world.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I feel that people can easily relate to this wonderful story. The theme is, when you have a goal, you can reach it with work, and lots of it. This definitely applies to everyday life. Although Bill is a billionaire, he still handles himself like a normal person. Bill Gates is classy, intelligent, and respectable. He is truly quite a man!
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