Today's cars are a whole world better than they could have been. They've got everything from GPS systems to help you find your way to new hybrid models that use far less gasoline. Heck, you can even buy bottles of "new car scent" to keep them smelling like new.
But that, my friends is the blessing, the curse that was avoided is something that online oldtimers will remember from years back. It was in the form of an email that made the rounds several times. It also got posted on countless newsgroups and forums. The content was something that made car buyers shiver and think "God I hope that isn't gonna happen". Specifically, it was about how things would be if cars were built the way Microsoft writes operating system software.
Here's the latest version of this that my wife found while stumbling around
MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES A MAJOR CORPORATE DIVERSIFICATION
INTO THE CAR-MAKING BUSINESS.
The major design criteria are:
1. Economies in interior design are based upon uniform size. Seats are all the same size and a standard distance from the steering wheel
2. The cars will run only on Microsoft petrol. (Microsoft LP Gas will be announced soon.)
3. The oil, alternator, low-fuel, and engine management system warning lights will be replaced by a single "General Car Protection Fault" warning light.
4. Delivery strategy is such that the consumer is under constant pressure to upgrade (modestly priced "upgrade" kits will be available either dealer-fitted or self-install). Support for self-install is an extra cost option. The cost is based upon the number of calls and the number of callers.
5. You can have only one person in the car at a time, unless you buy CarXP or CarVista, but having bought one of these, you still need to purchase more seats.
6. Occasionally, for no reason at all, the car will die for no apparent reason, and restarting is a simple turn of the key ... strangely, this is accepted as normal.
7. Every time the lines on your normal road are repainted, you must buy a new MS Car.
8. People would get excited about the new features of the Microsoft car, forgetting that the same features have been available from other car makers for years.
And not to forget:
9. Sun MicroSystems will make a car that is solar-powered, twice as reliable, and five times as fast, but will run on only 5 percent of currently constructed roads.
Of course since I am not a hamster I couldn't post this without adding at least one of my own:
10. The Gnu folks will get together and build a Debian car that is solar powered, twice as reliable, five times as fast, runs on all roads, is capable of being custom designed and re-designed by the buyer and then they'll give them away to anybody that wants one.