September 26, 2013 3:07 pm -

Bill Gates wishes that the triple play you need to complete (or is that hat trick) to log in, control-alt-delete, was a mistake, but that a designer said it was necessary.

“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,” Gates said Saturday during a question-and-answer session to launch a Harvard University fund-raising campaign. His comments have gained attention since a video of his Harvard Q&A was posted on YouTube on Tuesday.

Smiling, Gates tried to follow through on the thought, noting it was a basic security feature. But he eventually surrendered to common sense.

“And so we had … we programmed at a low level that you had to … it was a mistake,” he said, throwing up his hands to laughter and applause from the crowd.

Gates defended innovation on the earliest Microsoft software though.

“We did some clever stuff,” he said. “We were able to experiment with a lot of stuff, but more on the software side than the hardware.”

Cheston Catalano