In an interview at Harvard University this week, Bill Gates admitted the infamous three-key combination of Control-Alt-Delete was a mistake. Even if you’re not established in the Windows universe, the three-finger move just to log on is recognizable because of its odd complexity when a single button press would have been sufficient. If you were ever prompted to sign onto your computer using the triple-key login, Gates wants you to know he’s sorry.
According to Gates, Microsoft wanted to simplify things by using just a single button, but a fellow who did the IBM keyboard design was against that idea. Gates initially acquiesced to the decision because of basic security concerns, but looking back, the Microsoft co-founder admits Control-Alt-Delete to log on was one big mistake. David Bradley, a designer on early IBM computers, said the combination of keys was meant as a shortcut early on in development, and never expected it to become a “cultural icon.”
The command, sometimes known as the “three-finger salute,” still lives on in Windows 8, used to either lock the system or access the control panel; the old ways, though, are long gone, but not forgotten. Have any fond memories of Control-Alt-Delete? We didn’t think so.