Bill Gates blames IBM for Ctrl-Alt-Delete combination, wanted a single key instead


Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, blames IBM for one of the most well-known key combination, Ctrl-Alt-Delete. “It was a mistake,” Gates admitted at an interview at a Harvard fundraising campaign. According to Gates, the key combination was to prevent hackers from getting your PC password with a fake login prompt.

The host, David Rubenstein, asked Gates, “Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers on Control-Alt-Delete? Whose idea was that?”

Gates replied, “You want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signaling to a very low level of the software — actually hard-coded in the hardware — that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect, instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like a log-in screen, and then it listens to your password and then it’s able to do that.”

What Bill Gates wanted to do was add an option to press only one button, but was held back because of the IBM keyboard designer who refused to obey Gates’ order. So Gates just had to find out another way, and that was using Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

As an extensive computer user, thankfully there is a three button combination rather than one button. If you’ve ever had a keyboard with a sleep button, then you would know what I mean. This happened to me regularly and I’m sure to you too, but what would happen when I’m doing something is that I press the sleep button accidently instead of the ‘Esc’ button and all I would see is my monitor going black. This was a major irritation if I was in the middle of doing something very important, and I think gamers would have had the worst experience with a one button sleep button.

Do you believe the key combination is a essence or a necessity?