Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates did an interview at Harvard University for the launch of the institution’s Harvard Campaign. The tech luminary spoke about his time at the University, among other things. One of the most shocking admissions from Gates was that he felt Ctrl-Alt-Del was a mistake.

bill gates

Ctrl-Alt-Del is a function famous among windows users. It is used to allow users to access the log in screen and the task manager. When a program hangs in Windows, users press Ctrl-Alt-Del to interrupt it and stop it so that they can continue with their work. Bill Gates admits the function was a mistake, but he isn’t taking any credit for the error.

Bill Gates on Ctrl-Alt-Del

According to Bill Gates, and almost any Windows user, Ctrl-Alt-Del is an awkward way to approach a fundamental task. The average user of the operating system can find themselves needing to use the operation multiple times a day, and the claw required to press the buttons at once isn’t exactly comfortable. It wasn’t the fault of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQMSFT), however.

Microsoft was not in control of that decision, and Gates says he would have preferred a single button in order to access the log on screen. An IBM engineer who was designing keyboards for use with the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) DOS operating system would not let Gates have a single button for the operation, and it ended up in the twisted grip of today’s keyboards.

Despite the mistake that Gates says the Ctrl-Alt-Del function was, it has not left the operating system through to the company’s most recent operating system for desktop, Windows 8. The operation is not include in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) mobile device, because of the obvious keyboard dearth, signalling what might be the end for the well worn keys.

Microsoft design problems

Ctrl-Alt-Del is not the only design mistake that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has ever made, and it likely won’t be the last. The company is currently working on the release of Windows 8.1, a result of mistakes in the design of the company’s Windows 8.

Bill Gates is no longer at the head of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Steve Ballmer is due to depart in the coming months. Ballmer, who is also a founder of the company, will signal the end of the era when he leaves the company.