The Internet Revolution, like all great industrial changes, has made the world's elephantine media companies tremble that their competitors-whether small and nimble mice or fellow elephants-will get to new terrain first and seize its commanding heights. In a climate in which fear and insecurity are considered healthy emotions, corporate violence becomes commonplace. In the blink of an eye-or the time it has taken slogans such as "The Internet changes everything" to go from hyperbole to banality-"creative destruction" has wracked the global economy on an epic scale.
No one has been more powerful or felt more fear or reacted more violently than Bill Gates and Microsoft. Afraid that any number of competitors might outflank them-whether Netscape or Sony or AOL Time Warner or Sun or AT&T or Linux-based companies that champion the open-source movement or some college student hacking in his dorm room-Microsoft has waged holy war on all foes, leveraging its imposing strengths.
In World War 3.0, Ken Auletta chronicles this fierce conflict from the vantage of its most important theater of operations: the devastating second front opened up against Bill Gates's empire by the United States government. The book's narrative spine is United States v. Microsoft, the government's massive civil suit against Microsoft for allegedly stifling competition and innovation on a broad scale. With his superb writerly gifts and extraordinary access to all the principal parties, Ken Auletta crafts this landmark confrontation into a tight, character- and incident-filled courtroom drama featuring the best legal minds of our time, including David Boies and Judge Richard Posner. And with the wisdom gleaned from covering the converging media, software, and communications industries for The New Yorker for the better part of a decade, Auletta uses this pivotal battle to shape a magisterial reckoning with the larger war and the agendas, personalities, and prospects of its many combatants.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: World War 3.0|
|Release Date: 02-15-2001|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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World War 3.0
Bill Gates's nemesis, United States Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, appeared an unlikely foe. Gates demonized the five foot seven, fifty-two-year-old chief of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division as a corporate-baiting populist, but in fact Klein was at first very much the voice of restraint in internal debates over whether to sue Microsoft. Klein was more Washington insider than maverick and proud of it. His was the classic second-generation immigrant-success story: he was a Bronx-born son of hardworking immigrant Jews from Hungary and Russia who pushed him to get the college education they lacked and who swelled with pride when he earned an academic scholarship to Columbia, where he majored in economics. After graduating magna cum laude from both Columbia and Harvard Law, where he was articles editor of the Harvard Law Review, Klein came to Washington in 1973 to clerk first for Chief Judge David
Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and then for Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Jr., where Klein was a passionate advocate for social justice, seeking to nudge the more conservative Powell (a nudge Powell welcomed). In their book on the Supreme Court—The Brethren—Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong offer a
miniprofile of only one clerk: Joel Klein. "Powell had a profound impact on me," said Klein, who saw him as a philosopher-king. When Klein faces tough issues, he says he asks himself, "What would Justice Powell do?" What Powell usually did was move slowly, carefully.
After clerking for Justice Powell, Klein joined a public-interest law firm, the Mental Health Law Project, whe...