Gates admits Control-Alt-Delete was ' a mistake'

If you have ever wondered whether the Control-Alt-Delete key combination was a particularly elegant way of making people log into their PC, you could not have been more right.

In a late admission, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that forcing users to press the Control-Alt-Delete key combination to log into a PC was a mistake.

He discussed the decision at a Harvard fundraising campaign, while recounting the early days of building Microsoft and the all-important Control-Alt-Delete decision.

Users who have worked on the old version of the software or used Windows at work would have experienced the odd requirement.

According to Gates, the key combination was designed to prevent other apps from faking the login prompt and stealing a password.

Gates admitted the mistake to an audience that found his honesty amusing. He said a single button could have done, but the person who did the IBM keyboard design was not willing to give them their single button.

The combination was invented by David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC.

Bradley said about the combination, in an interview previously, that though he might have invented it was Bill who made it famous, leaving Gates looking a bit awkward.