If cars were like computers

This is a real Golden Oldie, which I got off the Net, but without an attribution. If you know it, could you email it to me for inclusion? Thanks.

At a recent computer exposition, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If General Motors 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.”

In response to Bill’s comments, GM issued a press release stating: “If General Motors 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 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.
  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 “General Protection Fault” 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 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.
  10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

[2009 Nissan Altima Start/Stop button]

30 March 2012: Robert Hill emailed to say: I saw your joke post from the "if cars were like computers" and thought you would like to see that #10 is true now.

2009 Nissan Altima

[But at least it does say "STOP" as well]

[If the auto industry had done what the computer industry has done in the last 30 years,
        a Rolls-Royce would cost $2.50 and get 2,000,000 miles per gallon]

19 August 2017: Jack B. Rochester emailed to say: Attached is an image from an advertisement in Computerworld newsmagazine, circa 1980-81, for the magazine itself. I was a senior editor there at the time and used this image for the cover of a proposal for my book, The Naked Computer, which was a national bestseller in 1983.

[It is interesting to compare the two quotations in detail, to see drift in action.]