Gates wanted a single key instead of Crtl-Alt-Delete
Former CEO and now chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has admitted that the Crtl-Alt-Delete key combination was in error.
You've probably used Crtl-Alt-Delete command hundreds, if not thousands of times on a Windows PC or laptop. But Gates has now revealed, in an interview with Harvard, that it was never meant to be that way. See also: Windows 8.1 review: the return of the Start button.
"Basically because when you turn your computer on, you're going to see some screens and eventually type your password in, you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signalling 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," Gates said. "Instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like your login screen and listens to your password and is able to do that."
"So we could have had a single button, but the guy that wanted to do the IBM keyboard design didn't want to give us our single button and so we programmed at a low level... it was a mistake." added Gates.
The Crtl-Alt-Delete command was originally the idea of David Bradley, a computer engineer who worked on the original IBM PC. The combination was chosen because it is difficult to carry out by accident.
It was originally only supposed to be a tool for programmers to wake up the computer but eventually became a regular action in Windows. It still exists in Windows 8 as a way to access the Task Manager and lock the computer.