What if Microsoft Built Cars?
(with thanks to my student Sue McGrath)
This is one version of something that has been bouncing around the web
for a couple of years.
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 the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving
$25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
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For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy
a new car.
Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would
have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut
off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.
For some reason you would simply accept this.
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.
Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT,"
but then you would have to buy more seats.
Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five
times as fast and twice as easy to drive but would only run on five percent
of the roads.
The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be
replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.
New seats would force everyone to have the same-sized butt.
The airbag system would ask "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, 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 nor want
them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's
performance to diminish by 50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become
a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive
all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner
as the old car.
You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
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