bryan coe digital marketing strategist

Computer Industry Vs. the Auto Industry

Ah, the urban legend… This is a copy of a forward that has been circulating since 1999 or maybe even earlier, but it’s still funny: (Although some cars are coming with start button now. 😉 #13)


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 technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving
$25 cars that got 1000 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 on the road you would have to buy
a new car.

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
"Car95" or "CarNT" 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, it would only run on
5% 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 say "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 lift the door handle.
turn the key and grab hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of
Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary); even though they neither
need them or 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

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.