Tech Pioneer Bill Gates Reveals His Biggest Microsoft Windows Regret

William Henry Gates III, better known to the world as Bill Gates, spent several decades building Microsoft into the software (and hardware) empire that it is today. His legacy outside of the philanthropy world is Windows. If he had to do it all over again, do you think he would do things differently? Sure he would, though one of his biggest regrets might surprise you. What still eats away at Gates to this day is how to force a reboot in Windows.

Bill Gates
Image Source: Flickr (World Economic Forum)

More specifically, Gates laments the Ctrl-Alt-Delete combination to restart Windows. During a speech at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in Manhattan this week, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft says he would like to go back and swap out the Ctrl-Alt-Delete command for a single-key solution to reboot Windows or fire up the Task Manager.

"Clearly, the people involved should have put another key on to make that work," Gates said.

This is not the first time Gates has brought up how much he loathes the three-button key combination. During a fundraiser at Harvard University several years ago, Gates blamed the "mistake" on a stubborn IBM employee.

Image Source: Flickr (Andrew)

"It was a mistake. We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't want to give us a our single button," Gates said at the time.

Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete was not something Gates came up with. That specific key combination was conceived by David Bradley, a computer engineer, back in 1981 when the IBM personal computer was first being built. According to a deep dive in the three-key combo by Mental Floss, one of Bradley's pet peeves was having to manually restart a PC whenever the computer encountered a coding glitch. These cold boots were time consuming primarily due to memory tests that occur.

"Some days, you'd be rebooting every five minutes as you searched for the problem," Bradley explained.

To shorten the amount of wasted time, Bradley created the shortcut that would trigger a system restart without the memory tests, and the rest is history.

Thumbnail Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (World Economic Forum)