August 11, 1998 - Microsoft vs. GM
At a recent computer expo called 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 got 1000 miles to the gallon.”
In response to Bill’s comments, GM issued a press release, stating “if GM had developed the technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
- For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.
- Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
- Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart, and drive on.
- Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.
- 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.
- The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single “general car fault” warning light.
- New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
- The airbag system would say “Are you sure?” before going off.
- 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.
- GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally (now a GM subsidiary) road maps, 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% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
- 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.
- You’d press the “Start” button to shut off the engine.