Once again, Bill Gates has bemoaned the creation of the ctrl-alt-del shortcut. Talking at Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Gates reiterates that he wishes IBM had created a dedicated button for the feature. We’re republishing this piece from 2013, because we still think that Gates’ telling of the story is a little misleading; for IBM it was a feature, not a flaw, that ctrl-alt-del requires two hands, and if Microsoft really wanted a single button ctrl-alt-del for Windows NT, it was Microsoft, not IBM, with the market dominance to achieve that.
Speaking at Harvard earlier this month, Bill Gates was asked why you have to press ctrl-alt-del before you can enter your password and log in to Windows. After explaining the security rationale, Gates then said that it was a “mistake” and that it was due to IBM refusing to add a single button to take the place of the three finger salute.
It’s a nice story, but it doesn’t really add up.