We are confident that Bill Gates is a brilliant guy, but he just admitted to something that the entire world has known for decades.
Forcing early computer owners to simultaneously press the difficult key combination of Control-Alt-Delete to log on to their machines was a mistake, the Microsoft co-founder said in an interview at a Harvard fundraising campaign posted on YouTube.
"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," Gates said, explaining that the tricky keyboard maneuver was made to ensure that other apps could not fake the login and steal passwords.
"It was a mistake," Gates added.
In case you're too young to remember, it's this hand-stretching key combo we're talking about. The gesture has also been appropriated for functions like rebooting a computer or stopping a program from running.
Many people have taken to Twitter to express how they feel about this stunning admission:
— Tim Carmody (@tcarmody) September 26, 2013
— Scot Petersen (@scotpe) September 26, 2013
— Samantha LeSesne (@policircus) September 26, 2013
So who actually invented the so-called "three-finger salute"? That honor is bestowed on David Bradley, a worker at IBM who was responsible for the design of the original IBM PC, according to Mental Floss. Ironically, the mechanism was actually originally created as a shortcut that would allow the computer to reset.
Since the function became the ire of PC users around the world, Bradley has been quick to distance himself from it. Although he admits that he did in fact invent it, he said it was Gates who "made it famous."
Gates appears to be on an confession binge as of late. This February, the PC legend said that Microsoft's computer strategy over the past several years was a mistake and that the company did not "get out in the lead very early" with mobile computers like Apple did with the iPhone.
[h/t The Verge]
Language has been changed to better reflect the fact that Gates was referring to "Control-Alt-Delete" being used to start a Windows computer, and not any other function.