Depending on when you started using Microsoft Windows on your computer (yes, Linux and macOS are equally viable operating systems too) you might have heard a “logon sound” when you started your computer and signed in to the desktop. However, if you started using your PC with Windows 8 or Windows 10, the startup process was completely silent – we now know why this is the case, thanks to a former Microsoft employee.
Jensen Harris, who worked with the Redmond company as the Windows User Experience (WUE) team’s Director of Program Management, took to YouTube to explain why the company killed off the startup sound on Windows 8 and Windows 10, as spotted by Windows Central.
While Harris begins explaining the real reason why Microsoft decided to get rid of the logon sound on the last two versions of its popular operating system around the 8-minute mark, we highly recommend watching the entire video, which is a fascinating story that goes back to the origin of the earliest personal computer system. Harris also explains how sounds on computers evolved over time — from the early Macs to the arrival of later Windows versions.
According to Harris, the company started to look at how people were using their computers, with more people using portable computers like laptops, in more than one location. “With mobility came different considerations” he explains, adding that the company started planning for its Surface platform and the assumption switched mobile-first as the team started to port the OS to ARM-based hardware.
Citing his own personal example of not wanting to open his MacBook at night while watching over his sleeping daughter, Harris said that he realised that having a startup sound was “a really bad feature for a device designed to be used in a person’s most private and intimate spaces at any time of day and night. These could also include a classroom, library, or even an aeroplane at night. That’s essentially how the startup sound was removed from the operating system…Read more>>