AP, Seattle: “Some musicians spend 18 months working on a whole album. At Microsoft Corp., that’s how long it took to perfect just four seconds of sound.”
That’s the Vista Startup Sound. Microsoft hired famous guitarist Robert Fripp for the job.
Originally, in a perfect demonstration of product-focused thinking ignoring users, Microsoft planned to make this sound mandatory (impossible to modify or even shut off), but when Robert Scoble leaked the news, there was a huge backlash eventually Microsoft gave in, making the sound optional.
So in the end, 18 months of effort went into 4 seconds that you will turn off anyway. Much ado about nothing… in the end, this is all that matters:
Update (11/13): I’ve only discovered after writing this post that you can actually listen to the startup sound by clicking Play under the photo in the AP article. Wow… is that it? The heavenly experience?
18 months…. LOL. Several years and latops ago I had my new mail notification sound set to a 3-4 second harp piece from Franz Liszt‘s Les Preludes. It took me a good 30 minutes to cut/edit it.