Extending Windows to noncomputer environments

Taken from Windows Sources, November 1994

To: Windows R&D;
From: Bill Gates
RE: Lack of progress in extending Windows interface to noncomputer environments

I am quite concerned about your recent report detailing what you call problems in extending the Windows interface to products other than computers. The growth of Microsoft is dependent upon our ability to extend Windows to every aspect of business, home, and society. After all, we all own MS stock, and if you want to become a billionaire too, you will, I'm sure, learn to minimize the effects of what others call reality and laws of physics. Here's some feedback on the first wave of Windows-ready products.

Windows toaster: This is one of the few products on which we have any agreement. You agree that tapping on a minimize arrow will lower the bread into the toaster and that tapping a maximize arrow will make the slices pop out again. But you complain that you can't figure out any way that double-clicking on the box will reduce the size of the toaster to a 1-inch cube. Let the toaster companies worry about it. It's a hardware problem.

Mouse-controlled car: I'm happy to see we've made more progress in developing a mouse that can steer a car. But you still object to tapping the left button to make the car go and the right button to apply the brakes. You say it will be confusing to drivers who are used to the gas pedal on the right and the brake on the left. That's a user problem. We can't be changing our button standards to accommodate such outmoded technology as automobiles. You also mention that having to lift up the mouse, move it back, and scoot it forward again just to keep the car going means that cars won't travel at more than 33 mph. Don't worry. If the drivers are Windows users, they'll live with the slowness. By the way, what has become of the preliminary plans to replace a car's four wheels with one large roller?

Windows vacuum cleaner: If it'stechnically possible to create a vacuum cleaner with 100 levels of undo, let's do it. Yes, I know that an undo feature is probably not a meaningful feature on a vacuum; unless you suck up the cat, of course. So why do we need 100 levels of undo? Consistency. We don't know why anyone needs 100 levels of undo in Word either, so we may as well be consistent.

Best Wishes,

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