What if Operating Systems were Airlines?

This old standby is here updated for 1999...
Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides; then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again. They then push again, jump on again, and so on...

Mac Airlines
All the stewards, captains, baggage handlers, and ticket agents look and act exactly the same. Every time you ask questions about details, you are gently but firmly told that you don't need to know, don't want to know, and everything will be done for you without your ever having to know, so just shut up.

Windows Air
The airport terminal is pretty and colourful, with friendly stewards, easy baggage check and boarding, and a smooth take-off. After about 10 minutes in the air the plane explodes with no warning whatsoever.

Fly NT (pre-release)
The passengers march out onto the runway, say the password in unison, and form the outline of an airplane. Then they all sit down and make a whooshing sound just like they were really flying.

NT Air (post-release)
Just like Windows Air, but costs more, uses much bigger planes, and takes out all the other aircraft within a 40-mile radius when it explodes.

UNIX Airways
Everyone brings one piece of the plane along when they come to the airport. They all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing non-stop about what kind of plane they are supposed to be building.

Linux Air
Disgruntled employees of all the other OS airlines decide to start their own airline. They build the planes, ticket counters, and pave the runways themselves. They charge a small fee to cover the cost of printing the ticket, but you can also download and print the ticket yourself. When you board the plane, you are given a seat, four bolts, a wrench and a copy of the seat-HOWTO.html. Once settled, the fully adjustable seat is very comfortable, the plan leaves and arrives on time without a single problem, the in-flight meal is wonderful. You try to tell customers of the other airlines about the great trip, but all they can say is, "You had to do what with the seat?"

Air Taligent
You apply for a ticket 24 to 36 months in advance, paying a large application fee. Then you are alerted that "exclusive" ticket slots will be available, but on a first-come-first-served basis. There is no scheduled departure time for any flight, but the "exclusive" ticket will ensure you get your seat on the first flight.. whenever that is. After purchasing this "exclusive" ticket upgrade, at an exorbitant price, you never hear from Air Taligent again. After 8 months you call the airline and ask them about the status of your flight. They politely inform you of a "slight slip" in the take-off schedule and advise you to call again in about 6 months. At this point you are somewhat irate and the Taligent ticket agent offers you this consolation: you're entitled to a privileged "simulation" of what the flight would be like once they do build the plane -- just stop by any time.

Newton Airways
After buying your ticket 18 months in advance, you finally get to board the aircraft. Upon boarding you are asked your name. After 46 repetitions, the crew member recognizes your name and you are permitted to take a seat. Just as you are sitting down, the steward announces that you will have to repeat the boarding process because they are out of room and need to re-count to see how many more passengers they can admit.

Palm Air
You are astonished at the number of passengers who can sit comfortably in the tiny and elegant airframe. You are also astonished, though less pleasantly, when your itinerary reveals 14 stopovers on your way across country . . . for refueling.