Bill Gates Is Still Apologizing For Ctrl + Alt + Del: We all have at least one great disappointment in life – a missed occasion, an error that seemed to be avoidable but was done anyway, among others. In Bill Gates’s case, it’s that sequence of keys.
At the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, Microsoft co-founder remembered the Ctrl + Alt + Del command, basically used to log into Windows computers. “If I could do a little editing, I would make this a single key,” Gates said on Wednesday.
In an interview at Harvard University in 2013, Gates said he had to accept to the stubbornness of an IBM designer: he denied to take a single button to log in, even at Microsoft’s demand. The way was to program a key combination to perform this function.
“We could have had a single button. But the guy who designed the IBM keyboard did not want to give us that one button,” Gates said at the time.
As Mashable spots, Ctrl + Alt + Del should never have entered the public: it was only a temporary shortcut to Windows which is hard to activate by a mishap. Then, game and software developers found the command in an IBM reference manual, and it eventually spread.
“They were trying to figure out how to teach someone to start one of their programs, and they had the answer. Simply insert the floppy disk, press Ctrl + Alt + Del and, like magic, the program starts spinning” explained Gates.
Microsoft has bigger bugs to regret, of course. Steve Ballmer said in 2013, soon after leaving the post of CEO, that his great regret is two: losing the smartphone market while developing Windows Vista.