Windows 95 Startup Song

Created on a MAC?

You probably didn’t think much about the sound that Windows made when you booted Windows 95 but it actually has a story. The tune was definitely an upgrade from the “tada” sound from Windows 3.1.

Windows 3.1 (Tada) Sound

The Windows 95[1] startup sound is highly recognizable, a blend of technology and nature, and just under 6 seconds in length. Microsoft asked one of the kings of ambient music, Brian Eno, to create it.

Microsoft engineers were well aware from the very beginning that the sound shipped with Windows was supposed to be easily recognizable, but at the same time, to come with something truly special that nobody else had at that time.

This is why a group of Microsoft engineers reached out to Brian Eno, an English musician, composer, singer, writer, and record producer who is particularly known for his work in ambient music. And while Eno agreed and managed to create a unique startup sound for Windows 95, the story behind how everything came to be is even more interesting.

I’d been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, ‘Here’s a specific problem – solve it’.

Brian Eno

Brian Eno remembers that Microsoft said, “We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah-blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional” and they added at the end the piece should be 3 seconds long!

Brian Eno’s 6 second Windows 95 Opening

The musician created not one, not two, but 84 different samples, out of which Microsoft picked just one. All of these samples were made on an Apple computer. He always hated PCs. Creating such a short sound file for Windows 95 changed Eno’s perspective about this work, he admitted, because returning to “working with pieces that were like three minutes long seemed like oceans of time.”

  1. Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995.


The Industry Observer
The Guardian

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: