About the e-book

Since its initial publication in 1993, Gates has been acclaimed by critics, technologists, and historians as the definitive account of a uniquely American phenomenon and era. It has been cited or used as a resource by dozens of other books. Now it’s finally available on Kindle in this 20th Anniversary Edition with a provocative new afterword by the authors. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the Internet was unavailable to the public, the first smartphone was the size of a small brick, and the pioneering electronic edition of this book came on two floppy disks . . . until now, the only digital edition ever sold.

Bill Gates is an American icon, the ultimate revenge of the nerd. The youngest self-made billionaire in history was for many years the most powerful person in the computer industry. His tantrums, his odd rocking tic, and his lavish philanthropy have become the stuff of legend. Gates is the one book that truly illuminates the crucial formative years of the man, his company, and the new industry they helped build.

In high school he organized computer enterprises for profit. At Harvard he co-wrote Microsoft BASIC, the first commercial personal computer software, then dropped out and made it a global standard. At 25, he offered IBM a program he did not yet own–a program called DOS that would become the essential operating system for more than 100 million personal computers and the foundation of the Gates empire. As Microsoft’s dominance extended around the globe, Bill Gates became idolized, hated, and feared.

In this riveting independent biography, veteran computer journalists Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews draw on a dozen sessions with Gates himself and nearly a thousand hours of interviews with his friends, family, employees, and competitors to debunk the myths and paint the definitive picture of the real Bill Gates, “bugs” and all.

Here is the shy but fearless competitor with the guts and brass to try anything once–on a computer, at a negotiation, or on water skis. Here is the cocky 23-year-old who calmly spurned an enormous buyout offer from Ross Perot. Here is the supersalesman who motivated his Smart Guys, fought bitter battles with giant IBM, and locked horns with Apple’s Steve Jobs–and usually won.

Here, too, is the workaholic pessimist who presided over Microsoft’s meteoric rise while most other personal computer pioneers fell by the wayside. Gates extended his vision of software to art, entertainment, education, and even biotechnology, and made good on much of his promise to put his software “on every desk and in every home.”

Gates is a bracing, comprehensive portrait of the meteoric rise of the microcomputer industry, one of its leading companies, and the man who helped create a world where software is everything.

About the Authors

STEPHEN MANES has had a long career making arcane worlds accessible to the uninitiated. His most recent book is the highly acclaimed Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet. He was one of the creators and co-hosts of the weekly public television series “Digital Duo.” He co-wrote the bestselling and much-praised biography Gates: How Microsoft’s Mogul Reinvented an Industry—and Made Himself the Richest Man in America. He wrote long-running columns on personal technology for The New York Times, Forbes, PC World, PC Magazine, and many other publications.

Manes is also the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. His Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! won kid-voted awards in five states and is a curriculum staple in American and French schools. The sequel, Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday!, quickly became a Publishers Weekly bestseller. His books have been adapted for stage and television productions.

Manes has a degree in cinema from the University of Southern California. His writing credits for the screen include programs for ABC Television and KCET/Los Angeles, as well as the seventies classic movie Mother, Jugs & Speed. A native of Pittsburgh, he lives in Seattle.

PAUL ANDREWS was a columnist and reporter for The Seattle Times. He wrote the book How the Web Was Won, chronicling Microsoft’s Internet “epiphany,” in 1999. He has contributed to and edited several books and Web sites and created the bike blog BikeIntelligencer.com. He and his author wife Cecile divide their time between Seattle and Santa Cruz, California with their bichon frisé, Millie.

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