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Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft Hardcover – May, 1998

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Speeding the Net is a thrilling read, and Quittner and Slatalla revel in their storytelling. The excitement and informality of the early browse-design sessions is apparent and infuses the book with a dynamic, raucous energy. The book tells the story of the creation of the Mosaic browser, the precursor to the wildly successful Netscape Navigator. Speeding the Net presents a thorough and compelling history of the programmers and business minds behind Navigator. Along the way, the authors also place ongoing developments in context: the universality (up until the explosion of the Web) of LANs, the creation of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the release of Java by Sun Microsystems. Speeding the Net is the best of all worlds: part biography, part primer on Web history, and part journal of the history of an infamous and revolutionary start-up company. --Jennifer Buckendorff

From Library Journal

Once in a while, during the short history of personal computers, a "killer app" (application) comes along that becomes the standard by which all others are judged. Perhaps the most dazzling killer app of the decade was Netscape, the graphical World Wide Web browser that set Microsoft, formerly an Internet laggard, on its ear. In the virtual milieu of cyberspace, Netscape's Mark Andreessen played David to the hulking Microsoft goliath, forcing Bill Gates to reevaluate his company's entire business strategy. Now, with Microsoft having gained a substantial share of the web technology marketplace, and despite being hounded by the Justice Department for its business practices, is Netscape doomed? This work is a fast-paced account of the most significant revolution in communications technology in decades. Quittner, of Time magazine, and coauthor Slatalla describe Netscape's amazing rise to prominence, its decision to go public, and its most recent positioning to shake up the marketplace once again. Highly recommended for business technology collections.?Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; 1st edition (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871137097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871137098
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book gives interesting details about every person remotely involved in the making of Netscape (and Mosaic), and although it's non-fiction, it's exaggerated and humorous enough to be entertaining. You definitely get your money's worth. Oh, and it's educational, too!
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Format: Hardcover
This book tell how the creators of the browser left the college environment because it was too bureaucratic. What Andresson and CO came up with when they invented the first user friendly browser enables you to do what you are doing now-purchasing books online. The applications for the internet are still expanding into how Andresson and his crew of visonaries thought they would. The book shows how they knew that Microshite would eventually catch on to the new business and either try to buy them out or crush them by simply tying a copycat piece of software (internet exploder)to its Windows operating system. The book is clearly written and relatively jargon free. Software concepts and their practical applications are explained so the non-techie can understand. Speeding the Net has you rooting to for Netscape. The sequel Speeding the Net and beyond should have a happy ending as Netscape continues to hold up well under the Microsoft onslaught. When you read about the incredibly smart, idealisitic and innovative people @ Netscape, you realize why Netscape is still in business. A fascinating and well told story of the real American Dream.
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Format: Hardcover
My only complaint with this book is it wasn't long enough. I read it in two sittings, taking one break to eat. It was very readable and incredibly interesting.
The most important point of the book, in my opinion, is what I scream at the TV set every time our know-nothing government officials fight about whether MicroSloth can put an IE icon on the Win 95 desktop -- that point being that it is entirely impossible to compete with a company who writes both the operating system and the products that run on it, and the anti-trust lawsuits are completely missing the point.
This point seems to be lost on the general public and our government. The book offers numerous concrete examples of how Gates & Co. use their inside knowledge of the Windows OS to write programs that outperformed Netscape, while at the same time withholding that information from Netscape for months on end.
This book should be required reading by all the Department of Justice folks.
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Format: Hardcover
A tremendously insightful book about the origin of Netscape Inc. You will find this book rather quite helpful if you are planning a start-up and going through the IPO process (Initial Public Offering). As a whole, this book read more like an informative, journalistic reading than the dramatic showdown that is perceptually portrayed on the cover of this book. Very little did this book characterize the battle between Microsoft and Netscape. Still, it is smoothly written that even the non-tech people will quickly grasp the complexity of the internet, its' explosion, and the companies that are dueling each other out to stay one step ahead. I found it a fascinating read and had this been more a dramatic story, I would've given it 5 stars instead of 4. Still, if you have the time, I say "go for it!"
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Format: Hardcover
There is a common theme among the excellent books on the high flyer successful start up companies. This usually consists of a small team with intelligence, absolute dedication, long hours and a high threshold of pain from physical self abuse. In this book the reader can appreciate the importance and critical timing of injecting senior, mature and knowledgable management in rather typical chaotic start up company environment. One of the most exciting parts is the knowledge that companies like this are in the infancy stage of the Internet revolution. Many changes will occur and it is good to have the background to appreciate these changes. Excellent reading!
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Format: Hardcover
Aleks, thanks for your anecdotes.
I zipped through the first half of the book, vicariously living through Andreesen and company as they developed the browser and struck off on their own.
I also felt the second half of the book could've been more indepth, as Netscape's battles to stem the Microsoft tide could surel have been recounted with a bit more flair. I really wanted to know how the main characters handled their newfound wealth/fame and the drop in Netscape's fortunes/stock price. Aleks...when did y'all cash out???
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! This is my generation and I wish I was a part of this exciting company in it's hay-day. I found it hard to put this book down since the story was written in such a way that actually got my adrenalin pumping. These guys were doing what they loved to do, were dedicated to getting it done regardless of the hours and were all paid handsomely in reward. I hope some day to be part of such an exciting company.
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By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I think anybody who wants to understand why yhe Internet became a defacto should read this book and see how Netscape lead the industry. I was able to combine all the developments I had been reading about. You also explore the challenge of a start-up from the programmers point of view.
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