Gates vs. General Motors

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry to 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 (from Mr. Welch himself), stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  1. Your car would crash twice a day for no reason whatsoever.

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

  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 maneuver 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 "Car98" or "Car NT." 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 percent of the roads.

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

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

  9. The airbag system would ask, "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 road maps from Rand McNally (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.

  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.

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