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World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies Audible – Abridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 6 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 15, 2001
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00005AAQD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Just when we were waiting for Microsoft to meekly split itself based on the outcome of the first landmark court decision, it looks like the software giant is racking up the points in what may be the most exciting appeals case in US history.
World War 3.0 couldn't have come at a better time. This book goes into background about Internet browsers, the internet itself and computer operating systems, a key point in the anti-trust lawsuit. And it does an equally thorough job of informing the reader about US anti-trust law. These details are essential to understanding the case against Microsoft, and they are presented here in a way that is detailed yet completely comprehensible.
This would be dry reading indeed if there were not also vivid descriptions of the players; Bill Gates, brilliant, visionary,self-absorbed and completely ill-equipped to play the high-stakes game of personality; the prosecutor, who has gotten himself the case of a lifetime and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, traditional and sober judge. What is surprising is how much Judge Jackson reveals in this book, as judges are notoriously close-mouthed.
The appeals process is now underway and it ain't over till it's over. If you want to be informed on a case that will literally affect the future of technology, it's well worth reading World War 3.0.
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By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dazzling -- the whole "new economy" landscape is made clear, and all the big players and their competing visions for the future are explained, but the great thng is that the author has worked in all his big-picture analysis so that it hangs off of the book's storyline, the courtroom drama. It's unbelievable how indiscreet some of the people talking to him were -- especially Judge Jackson.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this title on a whim. Although I followed "the trial" as it was being reported in the media I did not find the proceedings, as they were described in the press, to be that interesting. I also knew that whatever happened, this case would be appealed and last for several more years. Consequently, I did not have high expectations for this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this book was much more interesting and insightful that I had imagined. Auletta does an excellent job of describing the background, tactics, technical issues, personalities, and legal issues that surrounded this trial. Unlike other reports on the trial, he did not just encapsulate the events that took place in the courtroom. Instead, he spent considerable effort to research, then explain, events that went on behind the scenes - before, during, and after the trial.
The spin that was often portrayed in the media was that Microsoft was being victimized or punished just for being successful. The Microsoft media machine did an excellent job of promoting this view either through tactics such as full-page ads in newspapers or Gate's (and others) frequent appearances on television. While I have never been a big fan of Microsoft, part of me started to believe them. After reading this book however, any sympathy that I had for Microsoft, as it relates to the trial, has been erased. Auletta's recounting of the trial makes it clear that they used their monopolistic power to attempt to control or quash any company that threatened the market dominance of any of their core products. In short, they were unwilling to "play fair" and let the best products win in the marketplace.
Some members of the media portrayed Judge Jackson as someone that may have had a grudge against Microsoft.
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Format: Hardcover
Ken Auletta is an excellent reporter, and here was able to obtain amazing access to the district court judge in the Microsoft case. Indeed, Judge Jackson gave long interviews with Mr. Auletta based on the judge's personal notes, and later was blasted by all of the Appeals Court judges for allowing this kind of access.
Mr. Auletta is generally very fair in recounting the events of the Microsoft trial, but he also is not a programmer and not a lawyer and not a business strategist and it shows. His grasp of some of the fundamental legal issues at stake is rather poor, and his failure to predict the reasoning of the eminently predictable appeals court (which had already ruled in favor of Microsoft) is a big problem with this book.
Part of the problem is that Mr. Auletta reported only on what he saw, and Microsoft to a large extent wasn't bothering to convince the district court judge of their case (they already felt they'd lose despite Judge Jackson's protests that he was impartial). Microsoft instead focused on setting up the right arguments to later win at the appellate level, which it now looks like they will do.
Mr. Auletta, for all his excellent reporting, ultimately misses Microsoft's deeper game plan, despite noting that the reason Microsoft hired the lawyers that it did was that they previously had one a large reversal at the appellate level for Kodak. He should have looked a bit further into the story, and paid less attention to the (albeit amusing) theatrics of the district court.
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Format: Hardcover
Although a paranoid, childish and somewhat sniveling Bill Gates is the undoubted antagonist in author Ken Auletta's gripping account of the U.S. government's escalating war against Microsoft, it's tough to find the good guys. By detailing the legal maneuverings of Microsoft's competitors, which in large part spurred the government to action, Auletta pierces some of the innocent-victim personas adopted by the likes of Sun CEO Scott McNealy and others. But the author's treatment of Gates and his Microsoft colleagues is merciless, and in this honest portrait Auletta illustrates how the company's own arrogance brought on its legal woes. News junkies may find the broad outlines of the case familiar, but Auletta uses his readable style to delve into the major personalities and their motivations. We [...] like the way he makes even legal, technological details interesting to the general reader and fascinating to fans of corporate war stories. Read this book before catching the gripping sequel - playing now in U.S. Federal Court - in which Microsoft lands a critical counter-punch.
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