It's pretty well acknowledged that Bill Gates was late to the game when it came to forecasting the importance of the internet. And, that's a good thing. The internet run through a Windows type of gateway would cost more, limit choice and generally act in a monopolistic way.
Most of Microsoft's research was in the software component of the business, and they were caught flatfooted by Netscape's internet browser in the early 90's. After, and during, that lengthy legal and economic battle, their internet oriented products were never that good. MSN always had the negative aura of Windows about it, with a lot of unnecessary garbage that slowed response down. And speed was, and is, a fundamental component to enjoying the internet. Even now, it's nice to go to a clean search page, without dancing butterflies, or 'zany' news, etc.
PC Genius, Internet Fool
His famous "Internet Tidal Wave" memo. He does not note the potential of internet advertising revenue in this memo.
A summary of his career at Microsoft. Mentions his "Letter to Hobbyists" from 1976.