Bill Gates denounces CTRL+ALT+DEL, pins blame on IBM
Bill Gates has come out to denounce the CTRL+ALT+DEL shortcut Windows users have become so accustomed to for quitting faulty programs. As anyone au fait enough with using Microsoft’s operating system knows, that three-button combination is an absolute life saver when Windows goes awry.
But Bill Gates never wanted it to be that way. He envisioned a world where only one button press was needed to suspend a Windows operation, and he’s sorry the world has had to endure bad design for more than 35 years.
“I’m not sure you can go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk,” Gates explained at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum when asked about his views on the CTRL+ALT+DEL combination. “If I could make one small edit, I would make that a single key operation.”
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This isn’t the first time Gates has been vocal about his dislike of the suspend/resume combination. Back in 2013, he admitted it was a bad design decision, highlighting that IBM’s inflexibility was to blame. At Bloomberg’s Global Business Forum he, once again, pointed the finger in IBM’s direction, stating: “The IBM hardware PC keyboard only had one way it could get a guaranteed interrupt generated. So clearly the people involved, they should have put another key on in order to make that work.”
In 2013 he said a similar statement, claiming that “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.”
Thankfully, having to press CTRL+ALT+DEL isn’t the end of the world. Not only is it not a particular stretch, especially on a laptop, and it’s a nice way to safeguard yourself from accidentally dropping into Windows’ suspend function.
CTRL+ALT+DEL isn’t the only glorious thing Microsoft has given us. Over the years they’ve taken the Windows startup sound to new heights, including an excellent number made by Brian Eno.