No way to switch off Vista startup music

Written by Ryan Garside

September 1, 2006 | 13:10

Tags: #guitar #music #robert #sound #vista #windows

For the small minority of you out there who are eagerly anticipating the release of Vista but also absolutely despise and detest guitar music - then I bring bad news. Windows Vista's new start-up sound, made by guitarist Robert Fripp, will be compulsory.

The news, which comes via this chap's blog, was released by a previous Microsoft employee who worked on developing the new guitar tune. He writes about a conversation he had with Steve Ball, the Windows Audio Video Excellence programme manager:

"The current plan, he tells me, is that there will be a pre-wired sound that plays when the system is ready for you to logon. This is the plan of record for quite a few months.

You can do other things with your attention and your eyes during cold boot without feeling like you have to watch and wait.

This will be a non-customizable sound, and that’s been part of the plan for Windows Vista for many months, he said."

The official reasons behind the decision are laid out in the blog too, here they are:

"1. A spiritual side of the branding experience. A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now conscious and ready to react. You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in. You won’t need to wait for your machine to startup, he says.

2. Volume control in a Windows machine is a wild west. A mess. The startup sound is designed to help you calibrate or fix something that got out of wack when you startup your machine. Let’s say you muted your machine, and you don’t hear your startup sound, you know you aren’t ready to listen to stuff. The Xbox has a hard-wired startup sound. There is one way to mute it: to turn down the speakers that are connected to your Xbox. Same will be true for Windows Vista."

Two schools of thought exist on the topic at the moment: on the one hand people are saying that compulsory noises in products like the 360 and Playstation don't cause anyone any problems so why should this situation be any different? On the other hand many Windows users like the fact they can customise or even turn off a start-up sound; why should the choice be taken away from you?

Either way the final decision isn't set in stone yet and Microsoft has said it will listen to the reaction they get from this announcement. So if the idea of a guitarist blaring out a little tune every time you log onto Windows annoys you then make your voice heard in our fourms.
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