If Bill Gates could go back in time, he'd fix 'Control+Alt+Delete'

Bill Gates has one regret: The two-handed maneuver "Control+Alt+Delete" shortcut that was once required to reboot any Windows computer.

He publicly conceded this Wednesday while on stage at Bloomberg's Global Business Forum, in New York City, CNNMoneyreported.

"If I could make one small edit, I'd make that a single key," said Gates. 

Previously, Gate explained that IBM programmers in the 1980s were partly responsible for the un-user friendly mishap. IBM designed the keyboard layout for PCs at the time, and according to Gates in 2013, "We could have had a single button. But the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't want to give us our single button."

Even so, the three-key reboot procedure was never meant to be used by the public. Rather, IBM programmers set up this command to create an instant Windows reboot while they developed the software. This was actually logical: It's difficult to accidentally hit all three keys simultaneously.

This internal feature, however, was unintentionally revealed to the public. Early game and software producers found the command in an IBM reference manual, and its utility spread throughout the programming community — even without the internet.

"They were trying to figure out how to tell somebody to start up one of their programs, and they had the answer. Just put the diskette in, hit Control-Alt-Delete, and by magic your program starts," explained Gates in 2013. 

Microsoft has long abandoned the infamous key combination as a reboot command. Yet it still lives on, giving us all easy access to the Task Manager. Long live the "three finger salute." 

RELATED: The best books according to Bill Gates

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The best books, according to Bill Gates
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The best books, according to Bill Gates

When Breath Becomes Air 

Gates' review: "I’m usually not one for tear-jerkers about death and dying—I didn’t love The Last Lecture or Tuesdays with Morrie. But this book definitely earned my admiration—and tears." 

Photo credit: Amazon

I Contain Multitudes 

Gates' review: "In the end, I Contain Multitudes is a healthy corrective. Yong succeeds in his intention to give us a “grander view of life” and does so without falling prey to grand, unifying explanations that are far too simplistic."

Photo credit: Amazon 

The Heart 

Gates' review: "When Melinda recommended the book to me, she said, “It’s different from most of the books you read.” And that’s true—but part of the reason for that is that it’s different from most books."

Photo credit: Amazon 

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow 

Gates' review: "Harari’s new book is as challenging and readable as Sapiens. Rather than looking back, as Sapiens does, it looks to the future. I don’t agree with everything the author has to say, but he has written a thoughtful look at what may be in store for humanity."

Photo credit: Amazon 

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Gates' review: "Through deeply personal stories like these, Hillbilly Elegy sheds light our nation’s vast cultural divide—a topic that has become far more relevant than Vance ever dreamed when he was writing this book." 

Photo credit: Amazon 

Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood 

Gates' review: "In fact, Noah’s mother emerges as the real hero of the book. [...] If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind,” he writes. Like many fans of Noah’s, I am thankful she did."

Photo credit: Amazon 

A Full Life: Reflections At Ninety 

Gates' review: "A Full Life feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low. It is true that President Carter made unforced errors during his time in office. But when you read this book and have a chance to meet him in person, you can’t help but conclude that Carter is a brave, thoughtful, disciplined leader who understands the world at a remarkable level and who has improved the lives of billions of people through his advocacy for human rights and global health."

Photo credit: Amazon 

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