One of the first things I do after installing Windows is to go to the Control Panel and disable all of the application and system sounds. I don’t want that “click” sound each time I click on a folder in Windows Explorer and I definitely don’t want the startup/shutdown “melody!”
Microsoft may not give me the option to disable the startup sound in Windows Vista though. Why would they do such a thing? Robert Scoble had the pleasure of talking with Steve Ball, program manager for the Windows Audio Video Excellence team, who gave a reason for this decision:
A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now conscious and ready to react. You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in.
The decision isn’t set in stone and they are considering letting advanced users adjust the setting in the registry. That would be fine with me but they need to have some way of muting the sound. If I am in a class or a meeting I do not want to distract everyone by the Windows startup sound. Sure I can mute my speakers but I can’t do that until after Windows has already started!
They definitely need to make it configurable in some way otherwise someone will come out with a patch to fix the issue. The last thing Microsoft should want is a patch in the wild that they have not approved. Not only that but the minute Microsoft starts removing customization options will be the time that some users look for another operating system.
Thanks for the tip Nathan!