At a recent computer expo, 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 General Motors issued a press release stating the following: “If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. The radio would be computerized, but you’d need to install 64 Meg of RAM, a new sound card, a game card, a new video driver, a CD drive, and type C:\radio\talk\rush*.* to get it to play.
2. The entire engine wouldn’t be in the bay at once, and the car would have to keep stopping and starting to load in the relevant parts.
3. The speedometer would read 70 even though you are only doing 50.
4. You would have to have a full service every 500 miles.
5. Your car would refuse to start with a message “Abort, Retry, Fail?”
6. For some reason the engine controller would need a 1G hard disc and would take 5 minutes to boot up.
7. The steering wheel would be replaced with a mouse and you’d need to memorize the keyboard short-cut for “Brake”.
8. A particular model year of car wouldn’t be available until after that year- instead of before it.
9. They wouldn’t build their own engines but form a cartel with their engine supplier. The latest engine would have 16 cylinders, multi-point fuel injection and 4 turbos, but it would be a side-valve design so you could use Model-T Ford parts on it. There would be an “Engium Pro” with bigger turbos, but it would be slower on most existing roads.
10. The air bag system would say “Are you sure?” before going off.
11. New seats would require everyone to have the same butt size.
12. We would all have to switch to Microsoft Gas.
13. The U.S. government would be forced to rebuild all of the roads for Microsoft cars; they will drive on the old roads, but they run very slowly.
14. The oil, alternator, gas and engine warning lights would be replaced by a single ‘General Car Fault’ warning light.
15. Sun MotorSystems would make a car that was solar-powered, twice as reliable and five times as fast, but would run on only 5% of the roads.
16. You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car.
17. You could have only one person in the car at a time, unless you bought a Car95 or CarNT — but then you would have to buy ten more seats and a new engine.
18. Occasionally, your car would die for NO apparent reason and you would have to restart it. Strangely, you would just accept this as normal.
18b. Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail to restart and you’d have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this, too.
19. Every time the lines of the road were repainted, you would have to buy a new car.
20. People would get excited about the new features of the latest Microsoft cars, forgetting that these same features had been available from other car makers for years.