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Posted

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has finally admitted that forcing users to press the Control-Alt-Delete key combination to log into a PC was a mistake. In an interview at a Harvard fundraising campaign, Gates discusses his early days building Microsoft and the all-important Control-Alt-Delete decision. If you've used an old version of the software or use Windows at work then you will have experienced the odd requirement. Gates explains the key combination is designed to prevent other apps from faking the log-in prompt and stealing a password.

"It was a mistake," Gates admits to an audience left laughing at his honesty. "We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't wanna give us our single button." David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC, invented the combination which was originally designed to reboot a PC. "I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous," Bradley said in an interview previously, leaving Bill Gates looking rather awkward. To this day the combination still exists in Windows 8, allowing users to lock a machine or access the task manager. While Windows 8 defaults to a new log-in screen, it's still possible to use the traditional Control-Alt-Delete requirement and a number of businesses running on Windows XP and Windows 7 will still use it every day.

Control-Alt-Delete isn't the only recent mistake admission by Bill Gates. Earlier this year the Microsoft chairman admitted that the software maker didn't nail the mobile market when it had the opportunity. "We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership," said Gates at the time, before admitting the strategy was "clearly a mistake." Current CEO Steve Ballmer, who plans to retire shortly, has also been admitting his mistakes recently. "I regret there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows [Vista] that we weren't able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone," explained Ballmer at a recent Microsoft financial analysts meeting. Microsoft is now searching for a new CEO who can help with the company's fresh devices and services plan to regain some mobile market share and move away from its PC and Control-Alt-Delete legacies.

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Posted

they did move it to a single button with windows 8 (space bar)

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Posted

Why was it a mistake? Ok, he says that they could have made it so that it only took one button instead of three, but I can't say I've ever been bothered by using ctrl+alt+delete.
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Posted

I wonder if he isn't getting Alzheimer's in his old age. I don't see it as a mistake at all.

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Posted

^ Seems more secure than just hitting one button.

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Posted

^ Seems more secure than just hitting one button.

 

Exactly. I could see me "accidentally" hitting one button but not all three.

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Posted

AFAIK ctrl + alt + del is a key combination built into windows itself and you can't find out if the combination was pushed from a normal program unless you use undocumented APIs, so yes it is a very good combination.

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Posted

Exactly. I could see me "accidentally" hitting one button but not all three.

 

That's exactly why it's this odd combination of keys.  Something's being quoted out of context in this article.

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Posted

they did move it to a single button with windows 8 (space bar)

Or any other key (doesn't have to be space bar).

 

But on Server 2012 on a domain, you still have to use CTRL-Alt-Del.

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Posted

I see it as at least a good protection from an inadvertent key press

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Posted

Recognizing insignificant mistakes... There should be better errors to recognize.

Maybe ten years later ...

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Posted

Bill Gates says the famous Alt Control Delete was a mistake. He says the triple key login should have been made easier (single button), but the IBM keyboard designer back insisted on a more complex step.

 

[attachment=345687:130926110622-01-bill-gates-0926-horizontal-gallery.jpg]

 

Read More

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/26/tech/innovation/bill-gates-control-alt-delete/index.html?sr=fb092613billgatesmistake330p

 

 

Be sure to check out the photo gallery also when viewing the full article also.

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Posted

News sites are flocking over this like crazy. For what reason? Who cares about Ctrl + Alt + Del ???

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Posted

It's iconic now :laugh:

 

I do wish it was a combination that could be performed with one hand, though. Del, y u so far away D:

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Posted

I like pressing three buttons, it has a sophisticated feeling to it!

 

 

I think the member Hum should take a break, and let other members have a chance to contribute news also.

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Posted

I like pressing three buttons, it has a sophisticated feeling to it!

 

 

I think the member Hum should take a break, and let other members have a chance to contribute news also.

 

Other members are free to contribute news regardless of what Hum does, aren't they? I post articles on occasion, mostly political, and have never been told not to. But why post something that is being discussed in another thread? Seem redundant.

 

Post some original stuff, LWC, and I'd read it as often as I do Hum's stuff.

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Posted

Sorry, I didn't think to check, I assumed it wasn't posted yet. I wish there was an easier way to know a similar post was created or some kind of warning thing that pops up before posting.

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Posted

Nevermind

 

Topics Merged

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Posted

I never knew IBM 'designed' the keyboard.

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Posted

ive always know it as del - alt - ctl  :s

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Posted

ive always know it as del - alt - ctl  :s

If the press the buttons in that order you send the delete command to whatever program you have open.

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Posted

Whether Ctrl+Alt+Del was a mistake or not, it is truly insignificant either way.

 

Now the mobile blunder, that was big admission. Although, I couldn't tell whether Ballmer was trying to deflect responsibility to the Windows division, or just explaining why he had made the mistake at the time.

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Posted

I've read this story at a few sites and I am trying to figure out still what he means by it was a mistake.... if they wouldn't design a single button back in the day for the keyboard, then obviously the other option was a multi-button press. The story never questions or tells why it was considered a mistake. This is probably one of those things that is totally taken out of context, or he actually didn't even say this.

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Posted

Ever since Windows 7 and Windows 8, I rarely have to press Alt Control Delete.  I remember having to use Alt Ctrl Delete countless times in Windows 98 to Windows XP. 

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