Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era

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9780060011635: Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era

Critically acclaimed from coast to coast, Pride Before the Fall is the definitive account of the trial that shook an economy: United States v. Microsoft. Award-winning journalist John Heilemann uncovers the explosive truth behind the headlines: how the high-tech kingpins Bill Gates had tried to destroy, together with a motley crew of anonymous crusaders, worked in secret to help the government take down the most powerful empire of the information age. As colorful and riveting as a detective novel, Pride Before the Fall is an unforgettable tale of human ambition and human frailtya timely saga of arrogance, hubris, ruthlessness, and revenge.

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Like other "totemic firms" of recent years, Microsoft attained astounding power and profitability in stunningly short order--along with a slew of rivals who desperately wanted it broken into less threatening pieces. Few really believed it would happen when the U.S. Department of Justice first began looking into its operations, however, which made the eventual judgment against the company even more significant. "The humbling of Microsoft is the last great business story of the 20th century and the first great riddle of the 21st," writes John Heilemann in Pride Before the Fall, his insightful examination of the epic antitrust battle that began as a Wired magazine cover story. "There are fancier ways of putting it," he adds, "but the riddle is: how did it happen?" In the pages that follow, Heilemann examines the behind-the-scenes machinations that drove United States v. Microsoft, based largely on exclusive interviews he conducted with Bill Gates and his top lieutenants, Justice Department prosecutor Joel Klein, special trial counsel (and lead Democratic Florida recount litigator) David Boies, Intel chief Andy Grove, Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy, and various "unknown soldiers" who arguably played the biggest role of all. With Microsoft's future still uncertain, Pride helps reset the tone in a case that will shape our high-tech future. -- Howard Rothman

About the Author:

John Heilemann is a special correspondent for Wired and a former staff writer for The New Yorker and The Economist. He lives in San Francisco.

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