Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft

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9780871137098: Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft

Combining the hacker savvy of Tracey Kidder's Soul of a New Machine with the riveting drama of the first great corporate conflict waged on the turf of cyberspace, Speeding the Net is the story of how a crew of talented computer jocks at the University of Illinois turned the computer world upside down by creating the essential tool for navigating the World Wide Web -- the web browser.They created it for fun, but after Silicon Valley visionary and entrepreneur Jim Clark showed up in the middle of a snowstorm and hired them on the spot, they were soon part of one of the most dramatic initial public offerings (IPOs) in the history of Wall Street, had built their company into a dollar 2.2 billion business, and were forcing Bill Gates's Microsoft to reevaluate its entire business strategy. Speeding the Net gives an inside account of the ensuing cat and mouse game between Netscape, which held an early lead in the so-called browser wars, and Microsoft, which has always been notorious for zeroing in on its opposition -- and crushing it. Win, lose, or draw, however, Netscape's corporate culture of speed -- developing new programs and bringing them to market in under six months, then giving them away for free -- has already transformed the way Silicon Valley does business and the way the world communicates.

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Review:

Speeding the Net is a thrilling read, and Quittner and Slatalla revel in their storytelling. The excitement and informality of the early browse-design sessions is apparent and infuses the book with a dynamic, raucous energy. The book tells the story of the creation of the Mosaic browser, the precursor to the wildly successful Netscape Navigator. Speeding the Net presents a thorough and compelling history of the programmers and business minds behind Navigator. Along the way, the authors also place ongoing developments in context: the universality (up until the explosion of the Web) of LANs, the creation of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the release of Java by Sun Microsystems. Speeding the Net is the best of all worlds: part biography, part primer on Web history, and part journal of the history of an infamous and revolutionary start-up company. --Jennifer Buckendorff

From the Inside Flap:

Combining the techno savvy of Steven Levy's Hackers with the riveting drama of the first great corporate conflict waged on the turf of cyberspace, Speeding the Net is the story of how a crew of talented computer jocks turned the computer world upside down by creating the essential tool for navigating the World Wide Web--the web browser.

Only a few years ago, the World Wide Web wasn't even on the map for the major players in the communications industry, who were betting on Interactive TV as the communications paradigm for the twenty-first century. But the big players were wrong. Vision and innovation came from a group of undergraduates led by Marc Andreessen at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Messing around on their computers in the dimly lit basement of NCSA, they saw that the paradigm shift was already imminent in the form of the Web, which until then had been the exclusive province of academics and research scientists. Within months they had hacked a browser called Mosaic and immediately got a sense of its market potential when thousands of computer users from around the world began to download the revolutionary program.

They created the browser for fun, but after Silicon Valley visionary and entrepreneur Jim Clark showed up in the middle of a snowstorm and hired them on the spot, they were soon part of one of the most dramatic initial public offerings in the history of Wall Street, had grown their company into a $2.2 billion business, and were forcing Bill Gates's Microsoft to reevaluate its entire business strategy.

Netscape had always known that Microsoft would come after them and that, when they did, it would be in their infamous, take-no-prisoners style. But Netscape had an early lead, and maybe, just maybe, it could keep changing the rules of the game fast enough to keep Microsoft on the defensive. If that didn't work, there was the possibility that they might get some help from the Department of Justice, which was already investigating Microsoft under unfair competition practices. Intervention was nothing to count on, though; Bill Gates's company had always done what it pleased and would figure out how to sidestep any obstacle. Was Netscape doomed, or was there a way to survive in the shadow of the giant?

Speeding the Net is the sweeping, fast-paced inside story of a revolution that has affected how the world communicates and changed forever the way the computer industry does business. It is the last great business story of the twentieth century, with indispensable lessons for the next.

"Speeding the Net is an exercise in pure reporting.... [Quittner and Slatalla] deftly demystify both the technology and the forces-legal, economic and personal-that drive the software business."--The New York Times Book Review

"A lucid, readable overview of the computer industry's fiercest competitive rivalry."--The Boston Globe

"[Speeding the Net] offers an intriguing view into the thought processes of the programmers and strategists who created the most important computer application since the spreadsheet."--The Industry Standard

"This is a great story, and though it's been told before, Quittner and Slatalla give it a fresh-minted glow: The student programmers' creative impatience charges each page.... Speeding the Net gives us a cubicle-level view of the atmosphere at the newborn start-up company."--Salon Magazine

Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla are the authors of Masters of Deception: The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace and Flame Wars: A Novel. Quittner is the computer columnist for Time, and assistant managing editor at Time Inc.'s on-line site, Pathfinder, and co-creator of the on-line news publication, The Netly News. Slatalla writes a technology column for The New York Times and was a newspaper reporter for ten years.

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Quittner, Joshua; Slatalla, Michelle
Verlag: Atlantic Monthly Pr, US (1998)
ISBN 10: 0871137097 ISBN 13: 9780871137098
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Buchbeschreibung Atlantic Monthly Pr, US, 1998. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Very Good. 0871137097 Business & Investing. Very good in Very good nicked dust jacket. First Edition. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Artikel-Nr. WARE7R4448

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Joshua;Statalla Quittner
Verlag: Random House (1998)
ISBN 10: 0871137097 ISBN 13: 9780871137098
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Buchbeschreibung Random House, 1998. Gebundene Ausgabe. Buchzustand: Gebraucht. Gebraucht - Gut - 323 pp. Artikel-Nr. INF3002880048

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