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The Road Ahead: Completely Revised and Up-to-Date Paperback – November 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0140260403 ISBN-10: 0140260404 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140260404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140260403
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,896 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.

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.

Customer Reviews

And the book is really fun reading.
Bill Butler
Bill Gates presents his love computers and how this love helped in the evolution of the computer/technology industry.
Many new concepts, that you just don't know if you have been locked in a cave for the past 5 years, are explained.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 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 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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18 of 20 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.

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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Format: Paperback
I have been listening to Bill Gates' audiobook titled The Road Ahead regularly for the past 15 years since it was published. I have been amazed to see his predictions actualize so accurately and gradually over the past fifteen years although some of them have yet to be actualized. In the book / audio book the author explains how he got involved in information technology from the time he was a college student, what the developments were in the field until then. He proceeds to describe what the further developments likely to happen were in the 15 years ahead around the world in many different aspects of information technology and how our lives would change as a result. As I write these lines on March 27th 2009 I am amazed to see how accurate his predictions were.

However, are we better off as various societies around the world as a result of these revolutionary advances in information technology particularly in communications technology ? I would be the last person to suggest that we go back to an age without personal computers, internet and cell phones. However, it upsets me to see that like many other technological advancements the unfavorable effects have been too many. In his book Bill Gates talks about for example the dangers of internet to children but that they can be controlled by parental controls provided by software to prevent children from accessing harmful websites. He also comments that he disagrees people will become individuals spending too much time online with much less social interaction. However, careful observation during the past 15 years reveals that this is exactly what has happened ; parental control software have not been sufficient in preventing especially adolescents from accessing harmful websites, too many people surf the net for too long unproductively.
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