October 17, 2013 TXAD

“Ctrl-Alt-Del” was a mistake.

If you have ever had to use a Windows-based computer within the last couple of decades, then you most likely know about the three button combination that is Ctrl-Alt-Del (Control, Alt, Delete). You may have had to use that combination just to login, or, most likely, your computer might have slowed to a crawl and you needed to get into the Task Manager to shut down a process. Regardless of the reason, Bill Gates recently stated that forcing people to use the three button combination was a mistake, and he blames IBM. Gates explains the key combination is designed to prevent other apps from faking the login prompt and stealing a password.

“It was a mistake,” Gates admits to an audience in an interview at a Harvard fundraising campaign. “We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t wanna give us our single button.” David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC, invented the combination which was originally designed to reboot a PC. “I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,” Bradley said in an interview previously.

The combination still works in Windows 8, which lets users lock a machine or access the task manager.

I wonder if the Blue Screen of Death was a mistake as well…