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Bill Gates new book Business@the speed of thought has set some new records by being twice discounted before publication. Online bookseller Barnes and Noble has increased its discount of the $30 tome from 30 per cent to 40 per cent, and is throwing in automatic entry in the Bill Gates' Sweepstakes - a trip to Microsoft's HQ for a tour and one evening in Redmond. No second prize in mentioned, but presumably it is two evenings in Redmond. The book is to be published in 24 March by Warner Books, not noted as a serious publisher, and currently touting titles such as Kiss me Softly (a story of obsessive love, apparently), and one that Bill may not like, entitled A Thousand Suns: Witness to History. The new Gates' work (co-authored by Collins Hemingway, although this is hard to discover) will supposedly pick up where The Road Ahead (presumably the second edition) left off. The first edition missed the Internet somehow. Readers will apparently be able to find out how, "like a living organism, an organisation functions best if it can rely on a nervous system that will instantaneously deliver information to the parts that need it". The analogy with DNA/nervous system is not credible, especially in view of the muddle surrounding Microsoft's use of the term and Gates' slender knowledge of the subject, which he gleaned from some private tuition in the 1980s. The book should be seen as a marketing move by Microsoft to establish DNA as a brand name associated with Microsoft's efforts to conquer vertical markets. A start was recently made when Microsoft announced DNA manufacturing, and we predict that Microsoft will soon announce its entry into DNA accounting, as we shall reveal shortly. ®

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