If IBM made toasters: It would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim a worldwide market for five, maybe six toasters.
If Oracle made toasters: It would claim their toaster was compatible with all brands and styles of bread, but when you got it home you’d discover the Bagel Engine was still in development, the Croissant Extension was three years away, and that indeed the whole appliance was just blowing smoke.
Does DEC still make toasters? It made good toasters in the 80s, didn’t it?
If Microsoft made toasters: 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 98 would weigh 15,000 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.
If Apple made toasters: It would be cute, inoffensive, and idiot proof. It would work as soon as you plugged it in. It would work with anyone’s bread. It would take a long time to warm up. It would only have one slot – but you could upgrade. It would be expensive but never require servicing or opening the box. Other companies would say that it was too simple to make real toast but secretly fire their design teams and headhunt the ex-Apple employees. Religious wars would (re)start.
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