v. General Motors
At a recent COMDEX, Bill Gates compared the computer industry to the
automobile industry and stated: 'If GM kept up with technology like
the computer industry has, we would be driving $25 cars that got 1000 miles
to the gallon.'
A slightly aggrieved General Motors immediately issued a press release
stating: 'If GM had developed 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 start, in which case you would have to reinstall
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.
Apple 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 5% of the roads.
The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced
by a single "general car default' warning light.
New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before deploying.
Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and
refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turn
the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
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% 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.
Taken from: Distributed Systems and Networks by William Buchanan,
McGraw Hill, 2000.