Gates

The Washington Post called this book "impressive" and "meticulously researched," with "much of the drama and suspense of a novel." The New York Times and USA Today found it "definitive." The Seattle Times said Gates "should be required reading for any new hire in the personal computer industry." Since its publication, Gates has been cited and used as a source by dozens of books and articles.

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 early years of the man and his company.

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 microcomputer industry, one of its leading companies, and the man who helped create a world where software is everything.