What if IT companies made toasters?
/ Mario Konrad
- Sun: The toast would burn often, but you could get a really good cuppa Java.
- DEC: They made good toasters in the '80s, didn't they?
- SAP: The manual to run the toaster would be approximately 10,000 pages long. The toaster would come with 2,500 switches which would all have to be set in an exact pattern and in a precise sequence in order to toast specific kinds of bread. Each pattern would be established by SAP's experts as the "Best Practices" method of toasting that kind of bread. It would take a team of basis and functional contractors about 1 year to configure the toaster in the best manner, and then another 6 months to test it. In the mean time, your entire family would need to attend extensive training classes on how to use the new toaster. In order to support end users and consultants, MIT would establish a list-serv for people to post questions and answers regarding toaster set-up and operation. Of course, the online help would randomly pop up in German. But once it was running, you'd get the best toast in the world.
- Microsoft: Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster'95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.
- Apple: It would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but 5 years earlier.