The keyboard combo that is Control-Alt-Delete may have become iconic—but according to Bill Gates it was all just a big mistake.

Talking to the Harvard fundraising campaign, Gates admitted that the series of button presses was far from intentional:

It was a mistake... We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't wanna give us our single button.


Indeed, responsibility for Ctrl-Alt-Delete rests with David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC. It's an enduring legacy, too; the button combo still works in Windows 8 to lock a PC or run Task Manager. Quite a long history for a mistake. [Harvard via GeekWire via Verge]

Image by Johan Larsson under Creative Commons license