"Ctrl + Alt + Delete" Was Created In A Rush, And It Was A Mistake

Bill Gates
Co-founder of Microsoft Corporation

Probably all, if not most PC users know the 'famous' Ctrl + Alt + Delete button combination. The command activates when all the three buttons are pressed at the same time, opening the task manager to interrupt any running function.

The command that is nicknamed the "three-fingered salute, has also been adopted to Apple's Macintosh operating systems using slightly different buttons for similar functions.

But that according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is a mistake.

Despite its current ubiquity, he said that if he could do it again, the command would just be one button. In short, If he had the chance to change one thing for Microsoft's Windows, it would probably that command.

"If I could make one small edit I would make that a single-key operation."

"Clearly, the people involved should have put another key on to make that work."

Bill Gates has admitted his disdain about the Ctrl + Alt + Delete for several times. He said that the command was a "mistake", and placed the blame on IBM and its engineer David Bradley, who created the command.

"We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button," Gates said. "We programmed at a low level - it was a mistake."

Initially, the command was used by IBM programmers while they developed the system, with no intentions to make it known by the general public. Instead, it became one of the most well-known commands to date.

Bradley himself also admitted that Ctrl + Alt + Delete was created on a whim in a nondescript office in Boca Raton, Florida, in the spring of 1981.

"It was five minutes, 10 minutes of activity, and then I moved on to the next of the 100 things that needed to get done," said Bradley.

So here Bill Gates said that his Ctrl + Alt + Delete has no intention to make users' lives harder. At the time of the creation, there were just in a rush to finish the PC. But to re-create the three button combination into a single button wouldn't be possible. The button combination is so famous.

"You can't go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk," said Gates.