90s, Blog, Computers — May 22, 2013 11:59 am

Technology Time Travel: Windows Start Up Sounds

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It’s a little disappointing to sign in to my computer each day and hear a simple melody instead of an orchestra stomping all over my face.  Remember when Microsoft thought just simply signing in to Windows was the most epic thing of all time?  Let’s take a look back at the Windows log in sounds over the years, shall we?

Windows 3.1

Windows 3.1 was the first Windows operating system I used.  Remember fondly the simpler times when this two note chime invited you in to a world of folders, double clicking, and annoyingly shutting down your computer via software for the first time.  As one YouTube commenter put it, this is the sound Windows made to congratulate itself for not crashing during boot up.  Well put, Mr. Anonymous.  Well put.

Windows 95

The Windows 95 opening is so relaxing.  I feel as if I should slowly be stepping into a hot tub or taking yoga classes while an extended version of this theme plays.  If hover vehicles were an everyday thing, this would be the start up sound for my car.

Windows 98

I’m not really sure what they were going for with the Windows 98 opening sound clip.  It’s not space music enough to sound like it’s from another era and it’s not hip enough to sound modern.  Definitely the weak link in the chain.

Windows NT

Egad!  The Windows NT sound effect sounds like it was sampled from a Steve Miller Band song.  The cinematic futuristic vibe of this start up sound never failed to remind me “Yes, son, it is the future. And you’re using a desktop computer in your own home”.

Windows ME / Windows 2000

Say what you will about Windows ME… because Bill Gates basically said it, too.  Although this chime was from an operating system that seemed more pointless than hated, it still has its charm.  If you’re in to Van Halen’s “Right Now”, then this is the startup sound for you!  The same theme was used for Windows 2000.

Windows XP

Microsoft spared no expense with the Windows XP startup sound when they decided to hire a full orchestra (as performed by a Casio keyboard).  Remember when users had a task bar that was green and blue?  What were they thinking?

Windows Vista / Windows 7

As if you needed further proof Windows 7 is what Vista should have been in the first place, Microsoft didn’t even come up with a new theme song for what is arguably their best operating system ever.  I feel kind of cheated that Windows 7 didn’t get its own special four second jingle.

Windows 8

Ha, are you kidding?  As if I ever installed Windows 8 to hear the theme song.

Honorable Mention – Windows Vista (beta)

The beta version of Vista had its own special song that evokes memories of Mario Paint, while sounding both intriguing and haunting at the same time.  It gets scarier each time I listen to it, so maybe it’s for the best that they decided to scrap this number.

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