Bill Gates just validated the annoyance we’ve all felt when having to reboot a Windows application. Yes, the dreaded “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” key combination.
Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in Manhattan on Wednesday, the Microsoft cofounder said he would go back and make the task a one-key solution to save people time when they need to reboot or open the task manager.
“Clearly, the people involved should have put another key on to make that work,” he said Wednesday. (While the event was live-streamed, the videos do not appear to have been archived.)
This is something Gates has lamented in the past, previously pinning the blame on an unnamed IBM employee.
“It was a mistake,” he said at a 2013 fundraiser at Harvard University. “We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t wanna give us our single button.”
As Mental Floss has further explored, that specific combination of keys was created by computer engineer David Bradley back in 1981 when the IBM personal computer was first being built.
Bradley says he created it for the ease of those involved in the project, since having to reboot the computer in the event of coding glitches had become a time-consuming process for coders. The keys themselves were chosen because of their distance and thus the unlikelihood that they’d ever be pressed at the same time accidentally. The shortcut was actually never intended to be something customers were even aware of, let alone something they regularly used.
Photos via Getty Images / Yana Paskova