September 27, 2013
Bill Gates Comes Clean: Control-Alt-Delete Was A ‘Mistake’
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates confessed on Thursday that Control-Alt-Delete, the infamous three-key combination long used by frustrated PC users, was a “mistake,” and was only implemented after an IBM keyboard designer wouldn't assign a single button to perform the task of rebooting or logging in to Windows and accessing the task manager.
"So we could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't want to give us our single button," Gates said during a talk at a Harvard fundraising initiative (the comments on “Control-Alt-Delete” begin at 16:30).
"It was a mistake," he said in a confession greeted by cheers and warm laughter from the audience.
Gates’ statement marks the first time he has so convincingly acknowledged that the feature wasn't exactly one of Microsoft’s greatest ideas.
David Bradley, a designer of the original IBM PC, is the man behind the “Control-Alt-Delete” command to reboot a system. He famously teased Gates a decade ago on stage during an event marking the 20th anniversary of IBM’s PC.
“I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,” Bradley said at the time.
In a recent interview with CNET, Bradley said he never really knew why Microsoft decided to make his invention their log-in command.
“Why they used it for the log-in also, I don’t know,” he said. “I guess it made sense for them.”