Anyone who has used a Windows computer will have memorised the Control-Alt-Delete command as it is such an integral part of the operating system. Bill Gates said that the combination was probably not necessary – when he spoke at Harvard last week.
David Rubenstein, a co-chair of a fundraising campaign asked the question ‘Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer do I need to have three fingers : control, alt, delete? Whose idea was that?'.
The crowd laughed as Gates moved on the chair and then he scratched his ear struggling for an answer.
He answered with ‘Basically, because when you turn your computer on, you're going to see some screens and eventually type your password in, you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signalling to a very low level of the software – actually, hard-coded in the hardware – that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect. So 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. And so we had, we programmed at a low level that you had to – it was a mistake.'
Kitguru says: This reminds us that initially Microsoft did partner up with other companies, especially IBM in the early days.