At a Harvard fundraising campaign, Harvard Campaign co-chair David Rubenstein, asked Bill Gates, "Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers on Ctrl+Alt+Delete? What is that -- where does that come from? Whose idea was that?"
Gates began with a "complex" reply, "Basically, because when you turn your computer on, you're gonna see some screens and eventually type your password in - you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signaling to a very low level of the software - actually hard-coded in the hardware - that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect, instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like a login screen, and then it listens to your password and then it's able to do that."
Then Gates finally cut to the chase and just admitted, "So 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 and so we programed it low level that you had to -- it - it's - it was a mistake."
Gates (again) says "no" about returning to the helm of Microsoft
Despite rumors that Gates will return to Microsoft to replace the departing Steve Ballmer, Gates told Business Insider, "No, I ran Microsoft for a period of time. And, now I'm the chairman helping out on a part-time basis."
When asked if he was tempted to return to the path of technology in order to rid the world of Apple devices, or at least replace iPads with Microsoft's Surface tablets, Gates stated, "Well, I'm part-time involved and Microsoft's got a lot of stuff, the industry is doing a lot of cool things, and I keep my hand in that, but I won't be full-time doing that."
Meanwhile, like many others, Forbes' Anne Marie Squeo hammered on Microsoft's lack of a CEO succession plan. Then a piece in the New York Times suggested that Gates should follow Ballmer out the door. Robert Cyran wrote that Gates's "many talents don't include effectiveness as chairman. Under his leadership, Microsoft's board left Mr. Ballmer in place too long. Now that Mr. Ballmer is to retire as chief executive within a year, Mr. Gates doesn't have a replacement ready, an important task for any chairman."
The board let Mr. Ballmer waste money by chasing consumer markets and hardware, with the company's online services business losing $12 billion over the last three years alone. Directors also just sanctioned the purchase of Nokia's smartphone operations for $7.2 billion, locking Mr. Ballmer's successor into manufacturing devices - hardly a Microsoft strength these days.
Regarding a future path for Nokia after the Microsoft deal, a Reuters "exclusive" cited unnamed sources as saying:
Nokia is in a "period of reflection trying to figure out what they want to do," one of the sources said. They said there were possibilities for Nokia such as having "the option to buy the entire Alcatel-Lucent, or just the wireless business ... Nothing is imminent."
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