The Guardian June 16, 1999


If Gates designed cars

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the 
computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up 
with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving 
twenty-five dollar cars that go 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release 
stating (by Mr Welch himself, the GM CEO):

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars 
with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a 
new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason and you 
would just accept this, restart and drive on.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneouvre such as a left turn, would cause 
your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have 
to reinstall the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car95" 
or "CarNT". But then you would have to buy more seats.

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five 
times as fast and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five per 
cent of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be 
replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.

8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.

9. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.

10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and 
refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, 
turned the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand 
McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them 
nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the 
car's performance to diminish by 50 per cent or more. Moreover, GM would 
become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

12. Every time GM introduced a new model car buyers would have to learn how 
to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the 
same manner as the old car.

13. You'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.

(Apologies to those who do not drive computers.)

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