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 Posted Wednesday, May 5, 1999

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Coming Soon: The Pentium "Edsell". . .


AT a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry to the car industry and stated: "If General Motors had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release (signed by Mr. Welch himself) stating: "If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft,we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  • For no reason whatsoever 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 your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
  • 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 "Car95" or "CarNT". But then you would have to buy more seats.
  • Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five per cent of the roads.
  • The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
  • New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
  • The air bag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.
  • 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 grab hold of the radio antenna.
  • General Motors would require all car buyers also to purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a General Motors subsidiary), 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.
  • Every time General Motors introduced a new car model, 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'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.

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© Focal Point 1999 e-mail:  write to David Irving