The recent revelation by Bill Gates regarding Windows have made us feel that irritation again we all have faced while rebooting a Windows application. Yes, he was speaking about none other than the much dreaded “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” key combination.
When asked by the Carlyle Group co-founder and CEO, David Rubenstein about the infamous three-finger salute, at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Microsoft co-founder looked rather a touch bemused. He stated that he would like to revisit the past and make it a one-key solution to save people from spending extra time and effort when they need to reboot or open the task manager.
This is something Gates has lamented in the past, previously placing the blame on an unnamed IBM employee. Also, he regarded it to be a mistake 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”, was his statement.
To this, he added that “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”. Specifically, this combination of keys was created by computer engineer David Bradley back in 1981 when the IBM personal computer was first being built.
Also, he stated about his observation that a lot of machines these days have it as a more obvious function.
Further question by Rubenstein was that whether Gates regretted having opted for CTRL-ALT-DEL.
To this, Gates responded in his signature ‘Bill Gates’ style that, “I am not sure you can go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk. Sure, if I could make one small edit I would make that a single key operation.”
Gates even took a dig at the “Silicon Valley billionaires who want to live forever” at the panel discussion, explaining that his current focus is on the global problems such as African child is 100 times more likely to die of a preventable disease than an American child.
Lastly, he remarked that “digital revolution” has many years to run, with effects aplenty to be felt across all industries.