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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Bill Gates, the genius behind Microsoft, has always been something of an enigma in public perception. Shaped largely by PR wizardry and spin doctors, Gates has succeeded, for the most part, in controlling both his public image and his portrayal in the media. In recent months, though, this brilliantly crafted image has begun to unravel as Gates and Microsoft have been increasingly challenged by antitrust accusations and allegations of unfair play. Trustbusters, lawyers, and the media have willingly pounced, nipping at Gates's heels and demanding to know more about the business-as-usual Microsoft. The public begs to know: What exactly has been going on behind the doors of Microsoft?
Enter Jennifer Edstrom and Marlin Eller, who will appear in the Auditorium on July 22nd to chat about their controversial new book, Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside. Already making tidal waves, Barbarians furnishes the first truly inside look at America's most intriguing company. Edstrom, the estranged daughter of one of Gates's closest associates, and Eller, a 13-year Microsoft veteran and lead developer of the original Windows software, unearth the real story of Gates's Microsoft — told not by the flacks or the lawyers but by the people who actually design the software and write the code.
The portrait that emerges in Barbarians is certainly not one of organizational brilliance, but neither is it of corporate evil incarnate. The belly of this beast would more resemble a "Dilbert" cartoon if it weren't for the serious reality that Gatesisuncannily successful in crushing whoever's on top.
From the epoch-making 1983 Las Vegas launch of Windows to the ongoing Internet Explorer versus Netscape antitrust suit, Barbarians sets the record straight on a number of hotly debated — and often hotly litigated — turning points in the short but colorful history of the information age. Here, exclusive and remarkably candid interviews with senior Microsoft developers — some conducted just days before the Justice Department announced its inquiry into the company's business practices — inform us about the real and checkered history of the company. You'll learn the answers to these questions:
- How interrelated — or unrelated — are Windows 95 and Internet Explorer?
- How did Microsoft miss the Internet boat, letting Netscape capture the lead in web browsers, and then bounce back to nearly sink its burgeoning competitor?
- How exactly was — or wasn't — Microsoft ripped off in the original development of the Windows interface?
- How did Microsoft come from behind in pen computing to drive Go Corporation out of business (the truth of which eluded even Go CEO Jerry Kaplan in his own book)?
Barbarians Led by Bill Gates proves that the truth is always more outrageous than what you learn through outside reporting, corporate PR, or carefully worded legal documents. It is also clear that the Justice Department should have approached Edstrom and Eller to get the real story.