TECH
26/09/2013 14:01 BST | Updated 26/11/2013 10:12 GMT

Bill Gates Apologises For Ctrl-Alt-Delete

Bill Gates has apologised for Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

The keyboard combination that restarted a billion computers - and famously out-foxed Homer Simpson - has been the bane of Windows users since the 1980s.

The triple-combo was also used to log into the system on early versions of the software - presenting an oddly complex barrier to entry.

And now, in an interview at Harvard, Microsoft founder Gates has finally admitted that it was a mistake.

He said that the intent of the combo was to prevent other apps faking a login prompt (and thus stealing a password) but admitted it was an error in judgement.

"It was a mistake," he told an (apparently laughing) audience.

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

As you can see, Gates stopped short of claiming responsibility. Instead David Bradley, an IBM engineer, was blamed for inventing the combo. Though why it still exists - you can use it in Windows 8 to bring up the task menu - can hardly be blamed on Bradley.