The History of Windows in Startup Sounds

1. Microsoft Windows 3.1 Startup Sound

Back in 1992, 3.1’s startup sound was jarring and unpopular.

This prompted Microsoft to create a more aurally pleasing version for its next operating system.

As we gear up for Windows 8, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at old Microsoft OS startup sounds.

From the blunt fanfare of Windows 3.1 to the melodic chimes of Windows 7 (and some classic mini-tunes in between), these startup sounds communicate the history of Windows PCs throughout the years.

Join us as we explore the oral history of Microsoft’s operating system. Which is your favorite startup sound? Tell us in the comments below.

2. Microsoft Windows 95 Startup Sound

In 1994 Microsoft asked Brian Eno to create a piece of music that was (in his words) “inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental [and] emotional.”

The resulting seven seconds — about twice as long as Microsoft’s initial brief requested — has made tech history as a recognizable “sonic logo.”

3. Microsoft Windows NT Startup Sound

In 1996, Windows NT 4.0 revealed a fresh, futuristic sound.

Legend has it that the shutdown sound played the startup sound backwards.

4. Microsoft Windows 98 Startup Sound

Microsoft audio producer Ken Kato is credited with the creation of the Windows 98 sound.

5. Microsoft Windows 2000 Startup Sound

Microsoft tinkled the ivories with its professional “2000” operating system.

6. Microsoft Windows ME Startup Sound

The consumer-aimed “Millennium Edition” shared the same audio.

7. Microsoft Windows XP Startup Sound

The startup chime (and other system sounds within XP) are based on live orchestral recordings.

Composer Bill Brown worked with Emmy-award winning sound designer Tom Ozanich to create the audio.

8. Microsoft Windows Vista Startup Sound

The Vista startup sound was a collaboration among progressive rock guitarist Robert Fripp, record producer, musician and composer Tucker Martine and Microsoft’s own engineer (and musician) Steve Ball.

In a blog post, Microsoft described the tune as having “two parallel melodies played in an intentional ‘Win-dows Vis-ta’ rhythm,” with four chords — one for each color in the Windows flag.

9. Microsoft Windows 7 Startup Sound

Finally, Windows 7’s default startup audio is the same as Vista’s.



About Nlyten

I have always been a tech enthusiast, to the point where i have become an addict. Tech to me is crack; Always trying to get my fix every chance i get ! I have always loved sharing anything that fascinates me which again 90% of the time is about tech related content. I used to share content on Google Reader Shared pages ( but after their not so brilliant idea to shut it down i felt i needed a new platform where i could share and distribute content and thats how came about. So keep reading and get Nlyten ed !

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