Gates Says Ctrl-Alt-Delete Was a Mistake

Gates Says Ctrl-Alt-Delete Was a Mistake

During an interview at Harvard University on September 21, 2013 – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the Ctrl-Alt-Delete command was a mistake.

“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.”
Question and answer with Bill Gates at the launch of the Harvard Campaign

Gates comments on “Control-Alt-Delete,” start at 16:30 of the video.

The Origins of Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Invented by former IBM engineer David Bradley)

Interview with former IBM engineer David Bradley

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30 thoughts on “Gates Says Ctrl-Alt-Delete Was a Mistake

  1. Print Screen originally actually sent a screen dump to the LPT ports on your computer. It was changed as the necessity for it to do a bit more changed, so now it just places a copy on your clipboard.

  2. why is it that every new windows has more problems than the last one? don’t they even test these things before the market them.i got win7 ultimate and the first time I ran it it needed 96 updates geez and the last update I got nearly wasted my whole system it froze up on the screen that says do not turn off power or unplug ,it didn’t leave me any other choice. does mac have this problem with their operating system?

  3. I had an extraordinary experience!!
    My cat didn't like me working on the computer because that meant I wasn't giving him attention.
    So one night, he climbed up on the table and walked across the keyboard.
    AND guess what – his paws hit the Cntrl + ALT + Del buttons.
    I didn't kill him, but nearly did, because I hadn't saved up to that point.

  4. Bill Gates doesn’t know anything about computers. He knows about stealing other people’s ideas and having enough lawyers to bury them in court. He’s a college drop-out that got a bunch of attorneys to go in with him “on spec” to his itty-bitty company,Micro-Snot, and he starting stealing stuff and put his leaches to work. He made money and they made lots of money.
    The perfect 21st Century Corporation that creates nothing, makes nothing, sells other people’s ideas/products, doesn’t pay shareholders fair dividends, and gets granted special monopoly status from his friend’s he pays in the Government(s).

  5. Ctl-Alt-Del is a system interrupt for Windows, similar to Control-Pause/Break in DOS. You need some way to halt everything if the user is still in command of the computer. Doing it with three keys was on purpose – so you can't do it accidentally, like when you drop something on the keyboard. The only thing Bill was able to force onto the keyboard (he didn't design the hardware) was the Windows key – whiich came much later.

  6. Basically what the ctrl-alt-del button CAN DO – is to shut down interfering software SLOWING DOWN your pc when you're on the Internet – o yeah Bill Gates you know dem damn software ms uses to try and takeover or stop you from going where you want to go. google's got one called google crash handler and I don't care what people say about that thing it is b……. annoying!

  7. Steve, I am sure he threw more PC's out the door than we could count. He didn't need to reset after a lock-up … he just had another one of his people uncrate another one for him.

  8. Shows you what Bill Gates knows. Ctrl+Alt-Delete has been a life saver hundreds of times over my PC usage career. Why he thinks it's a mistake is way beyond me. One reason I think is that he's never had a computer that locked-up. Being the Big Cheese at MS you can believe that he had the best stuff available and if it DID lock-up, whoever the IT guy for his machine was better run for cover.

  9. Lucky for us he wasn't that clued up on it. Back then he was the patsy to bring this computer age in. He did what he was told and no not by these oligarchy running this show – the Universe is the great equalizer – if the Internet was to be our (the greater population) only way to communicate world wide in order for mankind to come out of this dark age then things had to be balanced, Light = Information / Dark = Lack of information, hence whatever that nefarious lot try to impeded on us in order for them to keep their control on us humans, Light will balance it. Therefore whatever comes out of the mouth of that dark STS moron Bill Gates counteraction is put in place… so for us we have the ctrl-alt-del button – woohoo! and up his!

  10. CTRL+ALT+DELETE was the only good thing they did because it allowed us to shut down those law breaking spyware programs, making windows ALMOST as fast and reliable as linux was and still is (sometimes I wonder why I still use windows, but unfortunately my games dont run on linux)

  11. its actually not helpful since does i have jus dicovered to lock my key board through the shift key by pressing it for 8sec then activate filter keys kkkk after years of doing IT

  12. I suppose as this function is used deliberately, a combination of keys would be better. However, designing a button for a combination of buttons is a wonderful development.

  13. He is talking about using it to bring up the login screen, NOT to restart the computer. A single key to restart the computer, THAT would have been much more than a mistake.

  14. In response to JD Blank’s post, I have used the Print Screen button many times and it DOES capture (print) the screen! After pressing the Print Screen button you then have to paste it into Paint (using Crtl V) or a blank image in a similar program and then save it as….jpeg, png, etc:-)

  15. They didn’t want to give you a key? They made the mistake on giving you a ‘windows’ already. I’m a gamer and every keyboard i owned got that key given to my doggy as a toy.

    BTW why didn’t they use that same key for logins? retards!

    • @Ripclaw:

      The Windows key is a new key to the keyboard. Has only been around for 17 odd years – was kinda invented for Windows 95.

      Was never around in the good old CP/M, OS/2, DOS days.

  16. Bill, if cantle-alt-del was a "mistake", can you explain to me what the "print screen" key was? How about the "sys cantle" key? I started computers on a commadore; 68000 assembler. ONCEi moved to iIBM's (pcxt,s), found out really fast the three finger reset was a … life/program saver. WHEN the 386,s came around, started trusting the reset button. When the penthouse started, and I could no longer count on an instant "shutdown " (yep, I probably screwed up again coding something…), I plugged everything into a power strip, right there … (So I could kill it INSTANTLY). CNTL-ALT-DEL wasn't a mistake; should be brought back… ( AND MAKE THE PEINT SCREEN KEY PRINT THE SCREEN!)

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