All Windows users know the famous key combination Ctrl + Alt + Del, which is used to display the Task Manager, from which you can close a non-responding process. And, the same combination also serves to log on to Windows operating systems starting from Windows NT.
During an interview conducted at Harvard University, Bill Gates has stated that the choice of the three buttons was a mistake, arousing the laughter of those present.
The co-founder and chairman of the board of directors at Microsoft talked about various topics, answering questions from David Rubenstein, but the story became more exciting and funny when Bill talked about the historic key combination.
Rubenstein asked Bill Gates why you need to put three fingers on keys viz. Control, Alt and Delete keys when you start your computer. Gates replied that the command has been implemented to prevent other software from faking the login prompt and stealing a password. The combination Ctrl + Alt + Del makes it possible to send a low-level and difficult to detect signal.
The inventor of the command was David Bradley, an engineer from IBM, who had created a software routine for soft reboot of the computer in the 70s. “I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous.” said Bradley on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the IBM PC.
After few years, the engineer also said he didn’t know why Microsoft chose this key combination to logon. Gates said that it was possible to use only one button to execute the same command. However, the designers of the IBM keyboard didn’t want to, so the company decided to use three buttons.
Windows 8 has a new login screen, but you can still enable the Ctrl + Alt + Del login prompt. In many companies, security experts still enable the security policy on Windows 7 and Windows XP PCs to require the use of the famous combination.