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Bill Gates Admits Control-Alt-Delete Was a Big Mistake

by Brandon Russell | September 26, 2013September 26, 2013 3:00 pm PDT

Bill-Gates

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.

CNN

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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