Barbarians Led by Bill Gates is an inside view of how Microsoft has developed some of its more popular products. The book is written by two insiders - Marlin Eller, a lead developer for Windows, and Jennifer Edstrom, the daughter of Pam Edstrom, Microsoft’s public relations specialist. The book covers a wide range of topics, including the initial development of Windows 1.0 and Bill Gates’ urge for Windows to "be like the Mac." Edstrom and Eller also cover topics including the failed Pen Windows product, Windows 95, the development of the Microsoft Network, and OS/2. In between descriptions of product development are descriptions and observations of Bill Gates, and also Microsoft’s love/hate relationships with its partners and competitors.
This is an interesting book about the rise of Microsoft. Because of Eller’s role as software developer, the book is written more from a technical point of view. Be prepared for technical discussions of topics with strange acronyms like OLE, RIP, IM and MMOSA.
Reviewed by pk, 6/98. Other reviews by pk.