The former Microsoft manager Jensen Harris is responsible for the silent boot from Windows 8. He explains his decision on YouTube. From Windows 3.1 to Windows 7: Starting up a Windows operating system has always been associated with an iconic startup sound. But in Windows 8 this was no longer the case for the first time – a trend that still exists in the current Windows 10. The former head of Windows user experience and developer Jensen Harris explains in a YouTube video why his team discarded the boot-up tones.
The reason lies in the development of PC hardware and its focus on increasingly mobile and private application scenarios. The trend was towards mobile devices such as notebooks, netbooks and tablets instead of using large desktop computers in the study. “Getting devices to make a startup sound was a bad idea if those devices were going to be used day and night in the most private and intimate locations,” Harris says in the video. This also applied to lessons, in libraries, on night flights and in other scenarios.
Do not wake the child with Windows
For Harris there were also personal reasons, as he said he raised a small child himself in 2008, who should not be woken up by loud start-up noises at night. Finally, the development team removed the boot sound for Windows 8, which was particularly focused on mobile devices such as tablets.
Some time later, however, it became clear: Windows 8 will probably run to a large extent on stationary systems. Harris therefore wanted the boot sound back. The team had already decided on a tone. It was too late, however. At the Build 2011 developer conference, Microsoft wanted to present Windows 8 as a fast booting and high-performance OS.
Correspondingly, the boot process has been optimized in order to keep the load on the main memory and processor as low as possible at start-up. The responsible team had therefore already removed all source code for loading a boot-up sound. It would have taken too much work to go back and Harris withdrew.