Bill Gates (pictured) has admitted he regrets making the Ctrl+Alt+Delete command three keys instead of one
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has admitted that if he could do one thing in his life differently it would be the Ctrl+Alt+Delete command.
The tech giant confessed that if he had his time again, he would have made it a single key.
Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Network in New York, he said: ‘I’m not sure you can go back and change small things in your life without putting the other things at risk.
‘Sure, if I can make one small edit, I’d make that a single key operation.
‘Clearly, the people involved they should have put another key on in order to make that work.’
He added that ‘a lot of machines nowadays do have that as a more obvious function’.
The three-key combination is used to launch task manager on Microsoft computers, allowing users to shut down programmes that have frozen or reboot the system.
It was originally developed by IBM engineer David Bradley to enable employees to restart their computers – and was never intended for public use.
But as Microsoft saw how popular it was becoming to remedy technical glitches, they decided to run with it.
The 61-year-old Microsoft co-founder made the confession at a Bloomberg event in New York
Since it was introduced nearly 40 years ago the term has been lent to novels, autobiographies, music albums, and even a film.
It has become so well known, programmers often ask Mr Bradley to sign their keyboards at conferences.
Speaking four years ago, the 61-year-old blamed his IBM colleague for selecting three keys, saying: ‘We could have a single button but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button.
‘We programmed at a low level, it was a mistake.’
Dr Bradley introduced the command around 1980, when he was part of the team building IBM’s first computer.
The tech giant and philanthropist says IBM engineer David Bradley (pictured) invented the command
He maintains his colleagues would get frustrated with restarting their machines every time there was a glitch.
He told Mental Floss: ‘Some days, you’d be rebooting every five minutes as you searched for the problem.’
He added that he chose the particular three-key combination because it is impossible to hit by accident with one hand.
But he admits it was not a well-thought out decision, saying: ‘It was five minutes, 10 minutes of activity, and then I moved on to the next of the 100 things that needed to get done.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary celebration of the IBM PC in 2001, he said: ‘I may have invented it but Bill made it famous.’