MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN Bill Gates has admitted that using a multi-button action to reboot or login to a PC, call up a Windows task manager or arrest a hang was a mistake.
Gates was speaking at Harvard University when he blamed IBM for the decision to use Crtl Alt Delete to reboot a PC.
According to the multi-billionaire philanthropist, Microsoft wanted a single button, but someone at IBM who was in charge of hardware design disagreed.
"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," he said, according to the Verge.
A single button might have been preferred by Gates and Microsoft but users could have pressed it by accident and thrown a Microsoft spanner into their work.
There is a certain satisfaction in pressing the three keys when you are faced with the infamous Blue Screen of Death, and for decades it has been a quick fix for hung Windows PC systems. The key combination is not needed on Apple computers or PCs running Linux, which are seldom rebooted, so it is not used on those.
On later versions of Windows it is used to bring up a task manager menu, and perhaps fittingly this page is coloured blue.
One way to use a single button would have been to use a large red button protected by a cover.
IBM engineer David Bradley invented the three key system, saying that the key combination was selected because it was hard to press by accident. Bradley famously thanked Gates for making his invention so popular. µ
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