Bill Gates wishes he could fix 'Control+Alt+Delete'

Microsoft co-founder says there could have been a single button to reboot Windows computers

Tech Desk September 22, 2017
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during a discussion on innovation hosted by Reuters in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

If you asked billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates if he had any regrets in life, one might expect some radical idea that he wished he could had implemented. However, when this question was put forward to him, he had a rather amusing answer.

Talking about his biggest regret in life, Gates publicly conceded on Wednesday that if he had the chance to rectify one thing in the past, he would change the two-hand manoeuvre “Control + Alt + Delete” to reboot Windows computers.

During the Bloomberg's Global Business Forum, in New York City, Gates stated, "If I could make one small edit, I'd make that a single key."

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Earlier, Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys were needed to be pressed simultaneously to reboot a Windows computer. He previously explained that IBM keyboard designers and programmers were partly responsible for making this function a three keyed process.

"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."

The three-key reboot procedure was never meant to be used by the public, rather, it was primarily for IBM programmers to create an instant Windows reboot while they developed the software.

That does make some sense as it would be difficult to accidentally hit all three keys simultaneously.

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"They were trying to figure out how to tell somebody to start up one of their programs, and they had the answer. Just put the diskette in, hit Control-Alt-Delete, and by magic your program starts," Gates explained in 2013.

Microsoft has long abandoned the infamous key combination as a reboot command and has replaced it was a way to access the Task Manager.

This article originally appeared on CNN Money


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