The news that Microsoft MES has been selected as the official ECU supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010, is sure to have caused quite a few of you to smile...
After all, so many of us either use, or have used Microsoft products, with varying degrees of success and/or frustration.
Therefore, in the best spirit of things, let's have your Microsoft in F1 jokes - we might even arrange a prize or two for those that make us laugh most.
John Lagerquist - Wixom, MI, USA
I don't know how Ferrari is going to fit the extra 3 buttons on their steering wheel - you know: <ctrl> <alt> <del>
* motorsport is a very dangerous sport, are you sure that you want to continue?
George E. Katinger - Stratford CT
Will they have to park the car to reboot every other lap or so?
Just hope the cars don't go blue and crash!
Mark Bulley - UK
I don’t know how Williams is going to cope with all those Winblows
Jose Manuel Castro - Spain
I think our main fear is how will drivers solve ecu xp's blue screen
Here is an old joke, but still a funny one.
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 dollar cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release (by Mr. Welch himself) stating: If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you'd have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You'd just calmly accept this, restart your car, and then drive on.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to be shut down and refuse to restart. Then, you'd have to reinstall the engine.
5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT". But then you'd have to buy more seats.
6. Apple Computer would make a car that was solar powered, more reliable, five times faster and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on 5% of the roads.
7. The oil, water, temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "General Car Default" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before activating.
10. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you back in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary) even though they'd neither want nor need them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately diminish the car's performance by 50% or more.
12. Every time GM introduced a new model, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as before.
Jeroen de Boer
Will the pitstops be renamed to "Reboots"?
Caption: "It says PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE!"
Alt Caption: "Somebody tell me again - Which of these is the reboot switch!!!?!"
Alt Caption: "Driver Protection Error?!?!?"
Paul Butterley - York, UK
Be prepared for the message:
"You have turned the steering wheel, microsoft requires you to restart the car for changes to take effect".
Dos this mean they will change the meaning of the blue flags?
Gregor Veble - Slovenia
It will certainly ease the contract negotiations:
"The driver for this device is not performing correctly. To install the driver for this device, click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver."
This gives a whole new meaning to the word 'crash'
But you are only allowed to install it on one machine at a time.
1) "Instead of knocking his competitors off the track or parking at La Rascasse in the closing moments of qualifying, Schumacher announced the new focus for his ongoing cheating program will now be using his $27 million yearly salary to hire teenage hackers to infect McLaren's & Renault's highly vulnerable Microsoft engine ECUs with viruses".
2) "Button was about to win his first race, when on the penultimate lap, Windows Update shut down his engine ECU to install new virus protection. Button helplessly parked his dead car next to the tire barrier".
3) "Sato's excuse for causing the 12-car shunt was his Microsoft engine ECU, which Taku claims shut down mid-corner due to a bug in Microsoft's "Quality Assurance" software. Microsoft's QA erroneously tagged the Honda powerplant as using a pirated version of Windows, and in the absence of a live internet link to verify, the engine ECU was given a Blue Screen of Death".
4) Students at UCSB's College of Creative Sciences - not the online college - today announced they've got LINUX kernel version 2.4.32 running on the Microsoft F1 engine ECU. Ron Dennis subsequently announced that McLaren was dropping Juan Pablo Montoya mid-season so that his $10 million salary can be used to hire LINUX experts to make McLaren's Microsoft's ECU stable enough to actually finish a race.
5) "For the first time in F1 history, attrition claimed the entire field in today's British GP. Nobody finished the race. Although two cars were taken out by a shunt at the first corner, the remaining 20 were felled by various fatal exceptions in their Microsoft engine ECUs".
Now we have a true equalizer for all race cars because Microsoft will delay the release of its latest ECU by a full season because it is constantly under development and it must incorporate the latest version of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Center. Ferrari will have a more unique advantage because of its association with AMD-they get the more advanced 64-bit version of the ECU but spend most of its season trying to develop the advanced software drivers for the V8. Also, the FIA must re-write its technical specs to allow 2-way telemetry from car to pit and allow the ECU to call back to Microsoft headquarters to validate its authenticity. How soon will the FIA announce the "official anti-virus" of the sport?
Great, just great.
Now, in addition to fuel and tire strategies, we'll all be sitting on the edge of our seats while the crew chiefs calculate how many stints they can go without stopping for an ECU reboot. Not to mention how easy it will be for Ferrari or Red Bull to get on-line, and hack Renault's ECU's and limit them to 7,500 rpm.
The contract should have gone to Apple. That way, we get a reliable engine ECU, and Fernando, Michael, and Kimi can listen to their favorite tunes, or even watch videos, while their completing their required laps.
God help us all. The new "chip" should consist of a dual-point distributor and a couple of ignition coils.
Francois Laurion - Montreal, Canada
This program is not responding.
To return to racing and check the status of the program, click cancel.
If you choose to end the program immediately, you will lose any prior lap data.
To end the program now, end now.
Naveed Iqbal - Portland Oregon, USA
All the trackside strategists and team managers will be replaced by friendly animated office assistant characters, asking, "You seem to be losing track positions, May I help you?"
Martin Ruisl - Slovakia
During the pitstop, the ECU will ask: New hardware found. Search for the driver automaticaly or would like to install new drivers manually?
New front wing may cause an immediate fatal crash of the system wich will cause ECU overheating and fire.
In a collision, new devices like other cars, ad banners or tyre barriers will be installed automaticaly without asking. Uninstalation will require an original MS Windows CD.
Peter Street - Rugby, England
Error – General Bernie Fault. Abort, Retry, Fire him.
I wonder if each of these cars has 64KB?
Pit stops now take about 3 minutes, since Windows detects a change and forces a reboot.
'Automatic Updates – Your computer is downloading new patches automatically. You may experience slight slowdowns while this occurs.' The entire field suddenly starts driving like they're at a Yugo Appreciation Club.
And probably the best: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Aditya P. Ratnaparkhi
Does that mean teams will have to find solutions for viruses too?
Will teams be needed to activate their ECU everytime they fire the engine?
Geoffrey Sneddon (again)
Microsoft will undoubtedly refuse to update their ECU to support next year's cars, and just create a new proprietary car called: "Microsoft® Formula 1™ BSOD07®"
The main problem is that the car will have to be activated with microsoft and then after any changes (including tires) the car will need to be reactivated. This will involve a lenthy telephone call with a microsoft technician with a not so lengthy IQ number.
A bit late, but for last year's BAR
*Fuel collector tank caused an illegal operation in scrutineering.dll*
The term installation lap takes on a new meaning. Now it shall be followed by the re-boot lap, the re-install lap and once more by a re-boot lap before the car can go out for a proper run.
After every pitstop, the ECU detects that there has been a hardware change and will put the system in "safe mode". In safe mode, the engine will be limited to 6400 rpm. Due to inadvertent installation of the NASCAR DLL, safe mode also allows only 2 positions for the steering wheel -- left lock and straight ahead.
Rather than a "Finn who can hack driving the car", McLaren will need a "Finn who can drive hacking the car". Linus Torvalds marks his 2008 debut by coming first AND second in all the races.
Pitstops shall be flagged to the driver as follows:
Microsoft has detected that the following updates are available:
Update RF31984: This addresses the lack of fuel in the tank hardware bug
Update TC90127: Addresses lack of grip suffered by some customers
Express install (x) Custom Install ( )
Should the driver click custom install, he'll be forced to hop out and do the re-fuelling/tyre change himself.
Of course, this update will require the normal install lap, re-boot lap, re-install lap, re-boot lap sequence ...
Now that the fun is over, I have a new drive(r) to install on this machine. Let's hope Windows takes kindly to it
John Sala - Canada
"Microsoft MES was selected as the official ECU (End of Car-racing as U-know it) supplier to the FIA (Fast Is our Antithesis)."
Matt Webber - Sitka, Alaska
Troubleshooting any engine issues will mean dialing a toll free number to an indeterminate third-world country, sitting on hold for 30 to 60 minutes and being told to restart the car by someone with suspect language skills.
It will improve the racing because the drivers will be able to autosave after each lap and, in the event of a crash, restart from the last saved lap ...
Micha de Wals - The Netherlands
Well with the Microsoft ECU's we get a new form of DNF reason.
"WGA check failed
The FIA probably found F1 cars too reliable
Charlie Whiting: "OK... who's the joker who left an iMac on the wall at the pit exit. none of the cars will drive past it for some reason. The telemetry keeps blinking... superior design... superior design"
Dong-Yeh Chai - Taipei, Taiwan
1. Your engine mapping program has unexpectedly shout-down, Do You want to report this?
2. Restart your computer after installing new tires.
Driver over the radio: "Pits I have a misfire."
Pits: "Have you tried turning your engine off and back on again?"
If Microsoft ran a F1 team: The engine would only run if you keep the car in 5th gear and your finger on the paddock speed limit button. Each pit stop would require the engine to be reloaded.
Driver over the radio: "What's my position?"
Pits crew: "About 2.4 inches above the tarmac going at 135mph heading of 167 degrees."
Driver: "You must be Microsoft trained. What you say is accurate and precise but totally *****ing useless to me."
Peter G. Barnett
Firstly they would need two extra pit stops to reset the software.
They would have to have a Virus safety car ready to distribute new versions as they were going around
Raikkonen would have a picture of Bill Gates on his rear end so that Montoya could use it as a target
FIA Thought Patern:
Q. Whats the best way to slow down new technology and hold back inovation?
A. Appoint Microsoft to supply the most critical software required to power the vehicle.
Microsoft slogan……"where do you want to go today"
... er... out of the garage would be nice!
Carl Rahn Griffith
"Where do you want to go today?"
Where do you bloody well think?! The race track, please!
A new team has entered F1 for 2008 amidst much controversy; it has spurned the Microsoft ECU and argued successfully in court that it can do exactly the same thing free of charge with Linux. Microsoft and the FIA have refused to comment.
June 7th, 2008 - Microsoft has today announced serious security flaws with its ECU operating system, version 3.97a, which has resulted in several of the leading teams engines being used as servers for targeted spam email to millions of global email accounts. Ferrari has been the victim of an aggressive Viagra advertising campaign, Honda has been used for Prozac email distribution on a massive scale, whilst Williams refuses to be drawn on its part in a email campaign by the UK Conservative Party.
"Before starting the race you must read and accept the licensing agreement for this ECU."
Murray Stevenson - Scotland
There would be a new source of excitement during the races as certain teams would be able to exploit a security vulnerability in the ECU that would allow a rival team manager to take compete control of an opponent's car and drive it off the road or into Bernies' VIP booth.
Microsoft ECU has detected that it is not the default application for telemetry, on-board cameras, pit to car radio, gearbox, and brakes ...would you like to change this?
Nick - Columbus, Ohio
Ferrari's deal with AMD allows them to have a motor just as powerful as everyone else but run at slower revs and operate at a cooler temperature. Therefore allowing them to use a more efficient aero package and have a faster car. Ferrari returns to domination.
F1 cars will be obsolete since they don't use windows.
Todt will have to replace his stopwatch with a spinning hourglass.
Martin Feldwick (again)
The FIA is happy to announce that, in full agreement with Microsoft, no car can be entered with either a 1 or a 0 displayed as Microsofts exclusive contract omits others binary displays. In future the world champion car will be number 2 and the numbered 10- 21 will be 2a ,b ,c, etc. Likewise P1 will become P2 and P10-21 cars black flagged for bringing the FIA into contractual disrepute. None of this applies to Ferrari of course who have been granted the numbers 2-9 and 22 -26 for the life time of Microsoft's contract.
The FIA has already said that it is concerned about decreasing the speeds in F1, and as every computer user knows, there is no better way to slow things down than by installing Windows.
It will undoubtedly cause other changes, too, such as:
all of the unwanted but non-optional features will add weight to the cars, slowing them down and making them safer
every time a driver hits a shift paddle, the screen will ask, "are you sure?"
the engine and brakes will be fine, but now all the ductwork will go to cooling the CPU
scrutineering will be reduced to entering the software serial number into a Microsoft-hosted web page for validation
more teams will be added because it's easy to run 44 cars on the track if the top speed is only 50kph
the new wind tunnel in Redmond, Washington will offer unprecedented opportunites for studying the aerodynamic implications of ground effects and spoilers for snails
fans at home will be able to participate more fully than ever... by uploading viruses during races
the sport will be nearly completely controlled by a single obscenely wealthy individual.
OK, well maybe not everything will change.
Your car has made an illegal move, to continue please press: Radio + Neutral + Up Shift (Ctrl + Alt + Del) :D
Soubir Dutta - Gurgaon, India
Firstly, schumi's label will have to changed from MSC to avoid confusion.
Secondly, i think you are being unfair to microsoft - this move can actually help certain drivers/teams.. example:
For a smoking Mclaren: "System failure detected. Restore last known good configuration?"
For Midland: "Virtual Memory too low. You page file is automatically being increased"
For Alonso: "A variant of the Schumaker virus has been detected at La Rascasse. Quarrantine?"
For Kimi: Clippy - "It looks like you are trying to decide between Ferrari and Renault. Would you like help?"
Whenever a backmarker tries to overtake one of the leaders: "The feature you are trying to use is in a car that is not yours. Please insert the Ferrari or Renault CDROM and click OK to continue".
Trying to overtake at Monaco: "Access Denied"
When a driver understeers/oversteers: "Internal Error"
when a driver tries to overtake on a yellow flag: "Illegal Operation Error"
When a driver cuts a straight line across a chicane: "Specified path is invalid"
When the ferrari mechanics are programming: "A file name cannot consist of the following characters: \ r / e : n & a ? u : l < t >"
Potential frantic pit to car converstaion between Alonso and Flavio:
Alonso: "I need to upgrade my straight line speed but my display says 'Page cannot be displayed'!!"
Flavio: "Refresh! Refresh!"
Alonso: "Tried that!!..... still didn't work!"
Flavio: "Could be a prolem at the server end.....let me ping and see"
(5 seconds later)
Alonso: "Ummm.... boss??.... michael's catching up"
Flavio: "Wait.... the connection's a little slow today"
(5 more seconds later)
Flavio: "Everythings fine at the server end.... Could be a stale page in your cache"
(10 seconds later)
Alonso: "Boss!! Michaels right in my slipstream now!"
Flavio: "Don't give him a tow!!! shake him off!! keep zig zagging again and again!"
Alonso: "Tried that... it says 'Illegal operation - Too many parameters'!"
Flavio: "I know what to do!! it obviously seems to be a microsoft problem.. lets try on mozilla"
Alonso" "Ok.. opening mozilla now"
Flavio: "Is it working now?"
Alonso: "No, it says: 'Microsoft encountered an error. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del for an IQ test"
Flavio: "Oh, ok! well, not enough time for that now. there's an upgrade that u wanted in C:\Renault\System... open it now!"
Alonso: "Ok...... well, it says: 'File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)'.. I clicked on Yes"
Flavio: "NO!! NO!!"
Alonso: "Too late... now a host of error messages are popping up"
Flavio: "like what?"
Alonso: " 'C++ Runtime Error: Incompetent User.' AND 'User Error: Replace user and press any key to continue'"
Flavio: "Oh, ok. wait a minute.... i've detected the problem.... u were using the demo version"
Alonso: "crap! what do i do now?"
Flavio: "There's nothing we can do now. The race is lost - u'll have to come in to the pits"
Alonso: "Ok, i'm coming in... btw, i hear even go-karting pays pretty well these days?"
Martin Sørensen - Denmark
After installing Microsoft ECU's, nothing will change: F1 will still be the pinnacle of technology, but we will still be wondering if all that technology couldn't be applied better. It will be fantastically succesful, financially, but we'll be wondering why. Cars will still be stopping on the track, seemingly without reason, the drivers will still be stand-ins and due to commercial reasons, we still won't see any racing.
The final similarity between Microsoft and F1: technology will still be stolen left and right, all involved will deny any knowledge of this happening.
Microsoft and F1: bound to happen.
Many, many thanks for your contributions, however, we think - and we find it hard to believe we're saying this - Microsoft has suffered enough, at least for now.
If we didn't use your contribution, please don't be offended, it was either because it was a little over the top, or because someone else had already entered something along the same lines.
Some of the Photoshop pictures entered were rejected either because they didn't scale down to the correct size (400 pixels wide, maximum), or because there were copyright issues.
Many thanks for all your contributions.