The history of personal computing has many episodes of success and recognition within its pages. One of the longest is without a doubt that of Windows XP, the OS of Microsoft that could remain in force for the longest time and that marked an era for millions of people, between professionals and home users, all over the world. Who would say that we can summarize all this in a simple sound just a few seconds?
It is precisely about this that we will talk about in this opportunity. Mainly, about how such a short and simple melody can be impregnated in a whole generation of people around the world, who, in most cases, were only united by a coincidence: using XP.
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Who composed the initial tune for Windows XP?
The well-remembered melody to which we refer has the official name ”Startup chime” and was, along with other system sounds within the OS, composed by BillBrown, a renowned Emmy Award-winning composer, who worked in conjunction with sound engineer Tom Ozanich (nominated, long ago, to the oscars for his work on ”A star is born” and ”Joker”) to create the piece.
Bill Brown may not be a name that resonates in your mind, but you should know that he is a well-known composer in the video game and movie industry in the United States.
In his experience with soundtrack for video games there are works like Quake II, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and more, while in the movies his work for Rushlights, Duke and Infamous stands out.
Despite this, it is valid to mention that Brown’s most recognized work is definitely his contribution of small sounds of just seconds that were included in the initial version of Windows XP. In case you don’t remember it, because it’s been a long time, here it is:
Why almost everyone can recognize this sound?
It is evident that a startup sound is one of the most important points in the design of the operating system, especially one focused on the home audience. It is worth remembering that Windows XP was practically the answer that microsoft had to offer after the resurgence that Apple experienced at the beginning of the millennium, after the return of Steve Jobs in 1997.
An unbeatable combo
Therefore, it is likely that Bill Brown’s task (as Brian Eno was told at the time) was to create a sound that is friendly, welcoming, full of hope and allusive to day and sunlight. Something very similar to what they wanted to achieve including the famous photograph Bliss (taken in the Napa Valley, California) as a desktop background, with which the Redmond wanted to “illustrate the experience of freedom, possibility, calm and warmth”.
Regardless of the intentions, Bill Brown’s famous ”Startup Chime” has become one of the universally known tunes of consumer technology and the reason for this is evident, It is one of the oldest and most used operating systems of all time.with around 1.5 billion adopters in its entire history, according to figures from Microsoft.