Bill Gates: 'Ctrl-Alt-Delete Key Combo Was A Mistake'

September 30, 2013

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In news that's sure to set the computing world ablaze (or not at all), Bill Gates has confessed that the control-alt-delete keyboard combination was a mistake and the fault of a keyboard designer who refused to add a one-button equivalent. How enthralling! If I was any more on the edge of my seat I'd be on the floor.

"It was a mistake," said Microsoft's co-founder of the famous "three finger salute" in an interview last week. "We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't wanna give us our single button."


"Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers on Control, Alt, Delete?" asked David Rubenstein, Harvard Campaign co-chair. "Whose idea was that?"

Laughing, Gates explains that the key combination was designed to prevent other apps from faking the login prompt and stealing a password.

"We were able to experiment with a lot of stuff, but more on the software side than the hardware," he said, after admitting that pressing three buttons to log in to a computer amounts to a design flaw.

You know what else is a design flaw? So many other things I don't even know where to begin. Like, why isn't there a button that hides all the p0rn on your computer if somebody asks to borrow it? That seems like a pretty serious oversight. And what about a self-destruct button? Now I'm not saying Microsoft should probably buy these ideas from me for a million dollars, but if they don't I'm taking them all to Apple. "We don't want them." Tell you what -- give me an iPod Nano and we'll call it even.

Thanks to BeltlineYYC, who heard the little squiggle button below the Escape key was also a mistake.

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