It is one of the most popular keyboard shortcuts in the world. The Ctrl-Alt-Del combination that allows us to interrupt Windows processes and restart our computer, it has always been a faithful companion of our teams but Bill Gates would have wanted it to be another way.
Ctrl-Alt-Del shortcut into a single key
Bill Gates told this anecdote at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, where he explained how they started integrating MS-DOS into IBM PCs, their keyboards had no direct way of establishing an interruption in execution.
That made Microsoft have to devise a mechanism to be able to restart the operations of the system in case of any conflict, which led to David Bradley, one of the original IBM PC designers, to create such a sequence. As he put it, «I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous.»
It’s not the first time Gates talks about that key combination: in September 2013 he called it an error, and he was alluding to that potential alternative that would have been to convince IBM to include a specific key to offer that option.