The Sounds of Windows Vista

Jim Allchin has just written up a wonderful blog post about the new sounds in the RTM of Windows Vista.  What I thought was important to note was that the Aero user interface is actually an acronym for "Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open".  Jim goes on to say this:

“It was our goal for the sounds to be just noticeable enough that if they weren’t there you would miss them, but they’re subtle enough that they don’t get in your way.  Just like the visual cues of the new Start button, the audio cues of the new sounds are "rounded" and "translucent."  The default sound scheme in Windows Vista is intentionally much gentler and softer than in previous versions.”

P.S. -- here are a few interesting facts about the new Windows Vista Start-up sound.

The Windows Vista Startup sound:

  • is made of dual ascending 'glassy' melodies played on top of a gentle fading Fripp 'AERO' Soundscape
  • has two parallel melodies played in an intentional "Win-dows Vis-ta" rhythm
  • consists of 4 chords, one for each color in the Windows flag
  • is  ~4 seconds long, end-to-end
  • is a collaboration between contributors Robert Fripp (primary melody + Soundscape), Tucker Martine (rhythm) and Steve Ball (harmony and final orchestration)
  • would never have been possible without the great work of Microsoft's Steve Ball and his team.  There’s an interview with Steve airing tomorrow morning (November 10, 2006) on NPR radio (we’ll post a link when it's available), if you’d like to hear more about these new sounds and the process of generating them.

Read the entire blog post by Jim Allchin here.

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