I am sure my computer nerd friends knew this already, but it came to my attention recently that it was actually none other than Brian Eno who designed the sounds for Windows 95, making it one of the most heard (and despied) “pieces of music” until of course later releases of the software.
Brian Eno claimed that Microsoft wanted "… a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional, and it must be 3 1/4 seconds long." No mean feat.
The promotion for Windows 95 was extreme even by many standards, with rumours that US$3 per copy was spent on promotion, including the use of the Rolling Stones “Start me up” in the advertising campaign. Obviously then, the “universal emotion” of Eno’s start up music was nothing compared to Jagger and company’s ability to get us up and buying.
It is not immediately clear who made the sounds for Windows XP or Windows 7, but for Windows Vista Microsoft turned to another well known musician in King Crimson’s Robert Fripp.
Finally, although no video is available, Trans Am released a track off their Red Line album called “Let’s take the fresh step” which featured Eno’s Windows Startup sound stretched to 50 seconds.