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Microsoft's newest series takes us behind the scenes - learn where Windows sounds come from

Microsoft has launched a new web series, “On the Whiteboard”, to take you behind the scenes of where and how technology mixes with culture.

The first episode follows our host, Pamela Woon, speaking to Oscar winner, Randy Thom, about the importance of sound in technology. Randy Thom has contributed to famous films including The Incredibles, Return of the Jedi, and Forest Gump.

Randy Thom makes us truly imagine the significance of the sounds that come from our everyday smartphones, computers, and tablets. In addition, the video features a collection of thought bending quotes including - “it’s very complex to be simple”.

We are always excited when Microsoft reaches out to connect the stories and places of the company to everyday consumers. This new web series, should be a fun ride for us all.

Check the video out above and let us know what you think.

“A lot of these gadgets and pieces of technology we use become almost like friends to us, and we expect our friends to have voices.” – Randy Thom

What is your favorite “Windows sound”?

Source: Microsoft News Center (opens in new tab)

  • the windows phone message sound has become iconic for me. In lectures when i hear that sound, i keep thinking it's my phone
  • They did a great job with the default WP sms sound.
    I can't tell how I HATE the call/alarm sound of the iPhone! That's reeeally annoying!
  • Agreed. I die a little inside whenever I hear a factory iPhone ringtone go off.
  • @Nik Rolls ahahahahahahahah exactly! I'm not the only one then! :D
  • The default sms sounds like someone saying, "You gotta text" I love it!!!
  • Well i know i LOVE windows phone sounds, they are so charming and quirky. The ringtones are great too, occasionally i just listen to them, they're fantastic
  • I just wish I could use a custom ringtone as a startup sound. Maybe shutdown as well.
  • *Windows Phone Default Text Jingle* -Man: IDK what that Is!
  • Achievement sound :D
  • Win95 Tada
  • Best tech sound is the classic Nokia ringtone. It brings me back to me Nokia faceplate phone I had as a younger lad.
  • I love the Nokia ringtone also. My favorites are the 3rd and 4th generations. They bring back memories from my n series phones.
  • The Roger Eno-penned Windows 95 startup sound is a classic.
  • This is off subject, and I don't care... But, if we're always getting all of these leaks about new, and upcoming, Nokia devices, and barely any news at all about upcoming Samsung or HTC devices, does that mean the others are better than Nokia at keeping secrets, or are they simply working on NOTHING??
  • Working on nothing
  • Do you think that it may be that nobody's interested in what they are doing, and if these same "leakers" put more effort in leaking information about Sam/HTC then we would actually be get something???
  • I bet they are big Law and Order fans. New text messages has that "blong blong" sound.
  • er...was as I the only person dissapointed with this video?! "well... I think..sounds are an important part of our lives" great insight there Mr Oscar. Try harder next time Ms Woon and MS.
  • No, I was thinking the same thing. The video was rather disappointing. I was thinking it was going to be in depth with the actual sound designers who created the sounds...
  • And that Mac in the background...
  • My favorite Windows sound is the startup sound for Windows 95 :)
  • Seriously the default SMS/MMS tones suck!! How's about giving us the option to create and use are own?
  • Am I the only one who leaves devices muted? I never have sounds on my phone, it lives on Vibrate; and my desktop lives with the sound turned off unless I'm watching/playing something.
  • Nope you are not the only one here ! Same here i never put my phone on sound mode and mute my desktop unless i am watching a movie.
  • Me too, a student, and I think it's impolite if your phone rings during classes and while with professors.
  • For a headline that says, "Find out where Windows sound comes from," this interview was a waste of time.
    I was hoping to hear where that missed call sound comes from that I can't get rid of, even if I have the phone on mute and have the volumn turned ALL THE WAY DOWN.  You know the one.  The one that makes everyone around you think you're an a-hole because you didn't mute your phone out of common courtesy?  The one that would take MAYBE 10 minutes for a programmer to fix?
  • They mostly come from their KIN phones
  • What a load of crap from Rudy! The sounds don't "make the hardware become our friends". They distingquish one function from another in a audibly pleasing way. 
  • Exactly as others have stated already, we NEED custom ringtones. Come my brothers and sisters! TOGETHER we can fight this oppressive tyranny that Microsoft has bestowed amungst its people, not only followers of the conglomerate, but loyalists of the same! TOGETHER we shall march to Redmond, and tear down the walls of limitation! Defy those who stand in our way! And gain the RIGHT that we so deserve!