Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote the text for the CTRL-ALT-DEL screen. The fact was revealed by Microsoft developer Raymond Chen in a personal blog post last week saying that Ballmer was not happy with the original text. So he decided to write himself.
Chen recalls that during the era of the Windows 3.1, Steve Ballmer was heading the Microsoft’s Systems Division, and one day he made a visit to the Windows team to see what they were up to. Chen wrote,
“When they showed him the Ctrl+Alt+Del feature, he nodded thoughtfully and added, ‘This is nice, but I don’t like the text of the message. It doesn’t sound right to me.” “Okay, Steve. If you think you can do a better job, then go for it.” Unlike some other executive, Steve took up the challenge, and a few days later, he emailed what he thought the Ctrl+Alt+Del screen should say. The text he came up with was actually quite good, and it went into the product pretty much word for word.”
Apparently, CTRL-ALT-DEL (Windows 3.1) is sadly remembered as one of the frustrating pain of Windows 3.1 users as the operating system hung so frequently that CTRL-ALT-DEL became a regular exercise. Last year, during one of the interviews, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates admitted that forcing users to press the Control-Alt-Delete key combination to log into a PC was a mistake. Bill said that they could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give single button.
22 years and counting, the Ctrl+Alt+Del combination still exists in Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 8, allowing users to lock a machine or access the task manager. Though Windows 8 directs users to a new login screen, millions of users who use Windows 7 or Windows XP still uses the Ctrl+Alt+Del combination to log into Windows computers.