An authoritative overview of the last three years on the Internet that is is plagued, however, by serious questions of...

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ARCHITECTS OF THE WEB: 1000 Days that Built the Future of Business

An authoritative overview of the last three years on the Internet that is is plagued, however, by serious questions of audience, an elitist voice, and an almost paranoid preoccupation with Microsoft's Bill Gates. Beginning with the creator of the first graphical Web browser, Marc Andreesen, Reid--himself a Net world wheeler and dealer--takes a ""big name"" approach in his technological history, using the eight people behind such milestone Web products as RealAudio (Rob Glaser), Java (Kim Polese), and Yahoo! (Jerry Yang) as centerpieces around which he builds his study. Subjects run the gamut from pure technological advances to the history of Web marketing and ""merging mediums,"" such as the Web and TV. For a CEO looking to launch a Web site, the book's business-savvy language will work, and it may prove an informative read. Similarly, the highly technical style will make a reader already fluent in the online lingo comfortable. However, to a lay reader, this book is likely to sound dangerously technocratic, as Reid is not very thorough in explaining the dozens of highly technical terms he uses. Indeed, Mark Pesce, creator of Virtual Reality Markup Language, states the dangers of too much technology in too few hands, saying: ""I am both excited and mortified by this technology."" Furthermore, Reid's perspective is very Bay Area--specific, ignoring developments taking place outside of California. If, for example, Wired is the leading Web publisher, as Reid claims, then what of New York exploits such as Word and Charged? And while Gates-bashing has always been the intramural sport of the industry, Reid takes it to a new low by dubbing Microsoft's CEO ""Chairman Gates"" in an obvious reference to Mao's authoritarianism. Of course, Reid's subtitle is reminiscent of Arthur Schlesingur's hagiography of John Kennedy. Perhaps the Web is Reid's Camelot and Gates his Castro.

Pub Date: May 2, 1997

ISBN: 0471325732

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1997