If the auto industry makes cars like Microsoft makes Windows?

This is an old one (and I take no credit for it), but cracks me up every time I read it and I’m sure that I’m not the first. However it’s great to share, and here it is … again :)

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 $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull 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.
  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. 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 run on only five percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
  8. 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.
  9. Every time a new car was introduced 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.
  10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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  1. Silly people. Let´s see now – I run Windows XP, can´t remember the last crash I had, I haven´t had to restart after installing a program ever. As for the start-button for shutting down, if that´s one of your biggest caveats about windows, you have issues that an OS can´t solve. I´m not an MS-lover, I just can´t stand haters..

  2. Bellorum, you have to understand that this was before Windows XP.

    No offense, but there was nothing in the article above that said that I had any grudges against Windows/Microsoft. I was simply recounting a humourous (and classic) debacle where GM showed their suits actually had a sense of humour.

    Also, in case you think I actually wrote that article, I want to stress that I simply quoted it.

  3. I run Windows XP, can´t remember the last crash I had, I haven´t had to restart after installing a program ever.

    Hehehe :) You must be having short-term memory loss (j/k)

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