A promise to Mr. Ball or In case somebody is for a forced startup sound on vista …


you should go and read the comments on Scoble of Steve Ball about the coming forced vista startup sound. Go read the comments and if you are in favour for any of the features describe there, you should voice your opinion now. So far it looks hands down against such a feature.

Now, why do I hate the idea? Of course I do.
First of all, I know people who have my voice as their favorite startup. How can I support something which will take this away from them? ;) But seriously. Why does the thought bother me? Why don’t I buy the “spiritual side of the branding experience” and the rest?

Let me try to only speak for myself.
And not for what other peple might perhaps encounter. We are selfish in this, so we should stay in topic.

The chosen artist. Guitars? Are you kidding me? Getting to the spiritual side every morning on bootup with an instrument I truly dislike is going to be an awesome start of the moment. You know how much I like the apple system, right? This is the kind of thing which actually can make me switch: Non changeable, 15 second guitar stuff. I don’t care how good he is – I don’t like it. There is roughly one piece if ever in which I like guitars and that would be Jump. Perhaps two, but for the rest – hate it.

Now, I do not even need to hear it if it actually comes. I have headphones for my main computer (so it will be some annoying sound in the background) and I am kind of fast with my tablet to remember the kill sound button. But to not even start it, I should remember to shut down sound before i shut it down. Perfect. For what?

“A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now conscious and ready to react.”

You got to be kidding me.

Then: I know how to deal with this and usually, when I am in surrounding which require silence I usually do remember. And you know how this is, because you usually do remember, you forget it the one time when it is important and you are at least 20 feet away from your computer. So when it goes off, everybody will know that while they are disturbed you are now ‘ready’.

Did I mention I hate guitars? Because OTHER people cannot control the sound settings before logged in, or forget about it, when you are in meeting, conferences or just out in the wild. Just take the office. Great, all those booting machines in the morning, juhu! Enlightenment guitar sound, the best way to start a day! So it will bother me.

The suggestions made in the comment thread go the same. Every environment where the PC is USED in a certain way cannot handle this in the future because you have to make sure that at least while booting, the sound is turned off. Hei, I see a market for old out of order headphones – keep the plug for just that! Because that should be the only way to enforce silence.

Oh wait. They will probably now make it a ‘feature’ that even if headphones are plugged in it will be played. You know, spiritual enlightenment is hard when the little ones do not want to follow. This is a tool and not a juke box!

Now the numbers: 95% of the customers will probably not care or never complain to MS. Of course not. How many of you have encountered your family members, friends etc who are not as savy with windows as you are? Where they come to you first thing with a new computer to “fix it” as they call it to make all the setting ‘right’? They know latest after the second computer because suddenly it makes funny stuff you want to get rid off right away.

My nearer family of the not younger kind (as in they did not grow up with computers like my brother an I did) consists of two people who – without talking to each other – asked the same questions about the same typical annoyances of windows. It made me very proud to hear them do that. Did any of them ever complain to MS? Of course not. They complain to me and or they take those little annoyances and let them add up. Are they happy? Take a guess.

So, Mr. Ball, if you intend on keeping this startup sound let me put it this way:
I might be tempted to get one, even with a new machine, because I can deal with it most of the time. Not in enduring it, but in getting around it, without the bright light of knowledge and such. I am nearly 20 years with a PC, started out with MS DOS, and yes I remember Start me up and the controversy around it. Guess what. That was the first thing what was killed in the office – the sounds.

But let me promise this you:
If this stays I will make an personal effort to ensure more people than ever before that the choice NOT to update to Vista is a very wise one and they are unlikely to need a newer version because they will be perfectly fine with using their old windows. And if they want to update, they should consider using a Linux desktop (to touch the angle of the so call security features of the new hard / software) or a Mac.

Yes a mac. If you are such a newbie you are probably better off with a mac anyhow. (Thank god my brother does not read my blog, he would faint reading this.)

Is this a threat? Depends on how you see it. I see this point as yes a small one but a such annoying one that it will be my pleasure to not stay quite as I have done in the past. Am I important? No. I am just the goto girl for at least 10 people in my surrounding which is asked on such thing as an update. I will tell them. About the system which they payed for and still are forced to endure something they may not want without the possibility of changing it.

“You remember the different sound / no sounds you have now? Well update to Vista and you will be forced to use one Microsoft thinks is appropriate for you. No, you don’t really need the new features. Internet and Email will be fine with Firefox and Thunderbird. And while we are at it, you could even run a Linux from your machine to do your writings. And did you the shiny new Macs? Look how cute they are. Go buy one.”

Hm. I might even get myself into finally promoting Open Office one day.

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3 Responses to “A promise to Mr. Ball or In case somebody is for a forced startup sound on vista …”

  1. Take it for granted: It will last not more than one day after Vista ships until you’ll have a bunch of freeware applications at your disposal which will change the startup sound according to the most exotic of your prefernces – provided, there are still guitars in your chosen tune ;-)

    You’D better rant on all the DRM restrictions you buy with Vista, and even with a Mac.

  2. Nicole says:

    Well, I am assuming it will be a bit harder to get it done this time but I am full of hope.

    As for the restrictions and alike … yeah, I hope the linux people finally have reached a point of a decent interface with a working, windows compatible (!) keyboard mapping for shortcuts and alike. They could be ready by now and I actually like the name Unbuntu. ;)

  3. Tim says:

    Awful. It leads away from the idea of the PC as a “Personal Computer”, which is a part of the success-story. It can be the starting point for other “brandings” and the way from an individual machine to an interchangeable standardized piece of equipment, like game-consoles.

    My start-sound is a voice: “Good morning, should we do something?” – in a North-German dialect.