At a 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.”
General Motors issued a caustic press release in response to Bill Gates’ comparison of advances in computing to the automotive industry.
If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
- For no reason at all, 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, executing a manoeuver such as a left-turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.
- When your car died on the freeway for no reason, you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
- Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought ‘Car95’ or ‘CarNT’, and then added more seats.
- Apple would make a car powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five per cent of the roads.
- Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single ‘general car default’ warning light.
- New seats would force every-one to have the same size butt.
- The airbag would say ‘Are you sure?’ before going off.
- Occasionally, for no reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed the radio antenna.
- GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of road maps from Rand-McNally (a subsidiary of GM), even though they neither need nor want them. Trying to delete this option would immediately cause the car’s performance to diminish by 50 per cent 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 would press the ‘start’ button to shut off the engine.