“tone” – the elderly among you will surely still remember the unique tone sequence that announced the completion of the boot process in Windows 3.11 from 1992 onwards. Users should be made aware that their PC was ready for use. In the following years, almost all new Windows versions such as Windows 95, 98, XP, or 7 received their own distinctive start-up sound. After that, the computers stayed silent – and that was due to Jensen Harris, as he now explained.
Harris has published a 15-minute video on his still relatively young YouTube channel in which he describes why he killed the Windows startup sound. Harris worked for Microsoft for around 16 years from 1998 and was also involved in the development of Windows 8 as Director of Program Management for the Windows User Experience team. According to Harris, there has been a simple reason why the acoustic greeting has not been heard when Windows computers startup for a decade: it was becoming increasingly annoying. In the video mentioned above, Harris elaborates on this, of course. On the one hand, with Windows 8 Microsoft moved the subject of notebooks more into focus. In other words: Computers were no longer just started at the desk, but also in the living room or bedroom or right outside the apartment. Microsoft also began to develop a touch-enabled interface for Windows around this time.
The awakening experience for Harris in terms of Windows startup melody was, according to him, an evening at home, as Winfuture reports. Harris sat next to his sleeping baby and wanted to start up his Macbook (sic!) To surf the web. But because he wasn’t sure whether he had turned off the sound on the device, he left the Macbook off completely for fear of a possible loud noise.
That night he realized, according to Harris, that noise when starting the computer is annoying in many situations – and commissioned his team to remove the start-up sound from Windows 8. He later tried to reverse the decision. But then it was too late for that. The developers had already removed the corresponding code. The good thing: This accelerated the boot process.