By Noah Graff
It felt like a ludicrous question. I hate Microsoft products (I’m a Mac guy all the way), and I’ve always enjoyed driving Toyotas. Well, at least my parents’ Avalons and my 1997 Lexus ES 300, which has 175,000 miles on it.
So what was the thinking behind this analogy? Toyota like Microsoft has become the largest seller of products in its sector in the U.S. market. It appears as though Toyotas have gained such a reputation as the benchmark for quality and reliability that the company has grown complacent in keeping up its highly touted standards. As the world has seen in the last week, the cars have their share of bugs, which has always been a trademark of the Windows operating system. Because Windows’ has minimal competition in software it has been able to get away with mediocrity year after year.
But is comparing cars to computers really “Apples to Apples”?
“At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If Toyota had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that go 100 miles to the gallon.”
In response to Bill’s comments, TOYOTA issued a press release (perhaps fictional) stating:
If Toyota had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
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 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.”
There are several more on the blog but you get the picture.
It was a brilliant comeback for Toyota back in 2006. But these days Toyota isn’t doing much snickering.
Toyota Adds Prius to Recall