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Vista Startup Sound to be Mandatory? 865

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the any-sound-you-want-as-long-as-it's-this-one dept.
Toreo asesino writes "There has been lots of debate in the past few days over Microsoft's plan to make the startup sound in Windows Vista something that can't be specifically silenced by changing the sound settings in the control panel. Users would be able to avoid hearing it by manually turning down the speaker volume, but then they would have to turn that volume back up to hear anything else."
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Vista Startup Sound to be Mandatory?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:27PM (#16020885)

    This is a typical case of product-focused vs. user-focused thinking.

    Has it occured to anyone that a user might just wake up early morning and wants to turn on his/her computer without waking up sleeping family members?

    For this very reason one of the first setup steps I always do on a new machine is to turn off the startup sign.

  • by eyegee88 (826176) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:28PM (#16020889)
    Seems the least of our worries, we'll just await the first hack that makes sure the sample doesnt play.
  • by matchewg (669643) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:28PM (#16020893)
    Wait a second.. Does anyone actually care about this?
  • What in the world? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperMog2002 (702837) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:29PM (#16020898)
    Do they seriously think annoying the users who care enough about their systems to turn off the Windows startup sound in the first place is really a good idea?
  • Bottom line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:30PM (#16020905) Homepage
    Here's the bottom line: If you have to ask the question, "Should the user be able to change this?" then the answer is: YES.
  • by crumbz (41803) <<remove_spam>jus ... o spam>gmail.com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:30PM (#16020906) Homepage
    I try and try not to be ovelry criticize Microsoft, such as wasting shareholder dollars on Zune, but mandatory startup sounds for Vista? Talk about branding for the sheer point of making people associate your brand with irritation. Manually turning down the volume each time, say in a library or lab, is the work around? Huh?

      At least the article references Ze...
  • by TrekCycling (468080) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:30PM (#16020908) Homepage
    I think the fact that Microsoft considers this a feature worthy of pushing shows how trivial "enhancements" to Windows have become at this point. They're not bothering to fix what really needs fixing.
  • by amigabill (146897) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:36PM (#16020943)
    It's my freakin computer, you better let me silence it if I wish. Maybe I don't want to irritate people in a cafe, lobby, waiting room, whatever with noises coming from my laptop. Maybe I just don't want an "I'm ready to be used" noise. Maybe I don't care if you think it's convenient. Maybe I dont care if you think it's cool or pretty sounding. Maybe I just want the stupid thing to be quiet.

    And Xbox or Playstation are not good excuses, those are for a different market. There's also a number of people out there using mod chips to regain control of those things if they don't like some decisions from the manufacturer. Just because my Xbox makes a startup noise doesn't mean that I want it to. And just because some Engineer at Microsoft or Sony decided their toy for kids should make a startup noise does not mean I want to hear it on my laptop, tower, or anything at the office in the morning.
  • by TrekCycling (468080) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:39PM (#16020967) Homepage
    It's not really your computer. I mean, it's your hardware. Unless it isn't running Windows. In which case you're a dirty pirate, even if you plan on running Linux. And then when you run Windows the software isn't yours. It's yours to borrow as long as you follow the EULA (which apparently includes listening to the startup sound now) and pay new monthly fee. Oh, you didn't hear about that new feature?
  • by FLEB (312391) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:39PM (#16020968) Homepage Journal
    File?

    No, I imagine it'll involve subtly hacking a grafted-on Windows 2000 version of NTOSKRNL.DLL while fending off the frothing-at-the-mouth system-file protection and changing HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\SystemEnhanc ementLayer\{0092-02D1-26E5-0990}\Security\Initiali zationProtocolIsTrue to 210 (decimal), then making sure never to install any patches.
  • Don't do this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tester (591) <olivier.crete@ocret e . ca> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:41PM (#16020980) Homepage
    This shows how disconnected from the real world Microsofties have become.

    Imagine being in a large university class with 100 or 200 students and half of them boot their laptops at the beginning of the class. The sound will be played 50-100 times, how much more annoying can it get!
  • Horrible idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OnanTheBarbarian (245959) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:44PM (#16020998)
    Wonderful. This will be a real plus in seminars, as people can't turn on their damn laptops without making a stupid noise. Or on an airplane. Or any other situation (with the kid sleeping in the other side of the room, for example).

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Unbelievably dumb. A massive triumph of marketing people over reality. How can this can be presented as a 'I see both sides of this fascinating argument' in the article? The argument that lots of other systems do this too is irrelevant; currently, you don't have to do this in Windows - why start making this mistake now?
  • Uh, Macs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illuminatedwax (537131) <<stdrange> <at> <alumni.uchicago.edu>> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:45PM (#16020999) Journal
    Is the startup sound on Macs customizable? I don't think it is. You turn on your computer and...

    "BAHHHH."
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:47PM (#16021015) Journal
    I think the fact that Microsoft considers this a feature worthy of pushing shows how trivial "enhancements" to Windows have become at this point.

    It's just a marketing exercise.

    Quite smart, really - you generate a lot of hype about something absolutely trivial and get the user community, blogs, forums etc all hyped up. Then you implement the trivially pointless feature you've managed to convince people to really want, and proudly announce that you're responsive to your customers needs.

    Then you can get quietly back to locking them out from their own data with proprietary formats and DRM.

  • by Aeiri (713218) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:50PM (#16021031)
    Has it occured to anyone that a user might just wake up early morning and wants to turn on his/her computer without waking up sleeping family members?

    Just today I walked into the "Maximum Quiet Study Area" for our univerisity's library, and popped open my laptop and turned it on. My gkrellm instance sounded my "alert" sound (which is actually very rare, the load was too high from the boot apparently), and I rushed to hit the mute button.

    The startup sound on Vista would be before any multimedia keys are registered if it's at all like XP is, and that wouldn't have worked. Laptop speakers don't have volume control!

    If Vista does require this, and I hear someone turn on their laptop with "welcome to Windows Vista!", I'm going to throw their laptop out a window, no pun intended.
  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:50PM (#16021032) Homepage Journal
    It just HAS to be a joke. They can't really be considering annoying their users in this way, right?

    I suppose the system will REQUIRE the sound file, and it must be a signed/DRMed WMA10 file too, right? And ONLY Microsoft-signed sounds (e.g., Vista Plus! pack or whatever comes out alongside the OS next year) will be "allowed" to replace the default sound?

    Meh. I won't be affected. When I have to run Windows (for legacy hardware not supported by Linux) it's Win98SE or Win2K, and I can customize SuSE and kubuntu linux to my heart's content. Fuck Windows Vista and the DRM fest and locked-down GUI that will come with it. Monad, you say? I already have that; it's called bash.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:01PM (#16021112) Journal
    You mean everyone doesn't delete all the M$ noise files at the first boot? Find a winbox that I haven't deleted the media files from, I looked and there aren't any here.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:05PM (#16021126)
    Here are three major OS on the market:

    OSX: built around experience, this OS is made to be simple to use, easy to market, look shiny and tie well with its accompanied Apple hardware. Apple's credo is that they are amazing as hell, and their users will be wowed at whatever they throw at them. As such, OSX provides features such as mandatory startup sounds, mandatory "hardware", mandatory skin and other mandatory "tuned to be kewl" stuff. They have some success, but their market share is still decreasing (currently at meager 2%) because they don't realize that unlike iPod, a PC is (yet) not just another consumer device.

    Unix / BSD / Linux: it's made for professionals, for tinkerers and and people who like control over their machines. Those OS have their share of attempts at eye candy, but the main point of the OS is the ability to go down to the bone and tune it just like you like it, without excess fat and trash around. It doesn't have much adoption with casual folks as a desktop OS because the distros are rarely consistent, require low level knowledge of the underlying system to get the maximum out of it and hardware software doesn't target it a lot.

    Windows: is sitting in the perfect spot. It's easy to use, has a lot of software written for it, works on commodity hardware, and is practical for business, entertainment and more. It's not perfect, and in fact was quite flaky when the consumer branch was based around the 9x core (for legacy reasons). These guys however get a lot of criticism that they are not enough like Apple and not enough like Unix. Windows has no cult status among its users, while *nix and Apple does.

    I have no idea whether it's a complex or lack of confidence in their own strategy, but sometime around XP, Microsoft decided they wanna be more like OSX and Unix, which are dwarfed by Windows on the market of desktop OS. They are just doing it, for no apparent reason, they are not losing market to their competitors on the desktop market, but feel the urge to copy them and be "more like them".

    XP and Vista are trying hard to build a branded experience much like OSX, while other projects like Channel 9, the new power shell, and tons of other admin-related utilities and technologies are targeted to the Unix crowd and appearing more opened.

    Some of this has positive effects on the users of Windows, but some of it, is just plain stupid (like the glassy look of aero.. it's not easier to use at all, it's one of those gadgets you show off in the PC shops, like OSX's scaling icons on the dock bar). Their desire to preserve their "perfect" branding by locking and hardcoding everything in place is just a symptom of this much deeper problem.

    I wish Microsoft would just accept its position in the market, keep the right balance between flexible and preconfigured, and swallow the criticisms, which will come no matter what, versus try and copy whatever fads come along.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:05PM (#16021130)

    > Delete or Rename the file? or has that functionality not made it into the filesystem yet?

    That's not funny.

    Microsoft allows processes to hold a file "hostage" by keeping it open. This prevents the file from being reliably deleted or renamed. In general, you must reboot the machine to ensure that a file is deleted or renamed.

    Failure to reliably delete or rename files is a show-stopper usability bug, by any definition. This bug has been in every multi-user OS ever released by Microsoft.
  • Re:Bottom line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:07PM (#16021144) Homepage
    Here's the bottom line: If you have to ask the question, "Should the user be able to change this?" then the answer is: YES.

    Actually, from a software design point of view, that's not necessarily the correct answer. If you make everything configurable that every user would possibly want to change, then you're looking at a UI that's going to be almost impossible to navigate, at least when you're talking about an OS the size of Vista. That said, I think this is a case where it should be something the user can change.
  • by The Sith Lord (111494) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:17PM (#16021211)
    From TFA, it's suggested you turn on your pc, have something to eat, and then your box will let you know when it's ready to log you in ...
    Will Vista REALLY take that long to boot up that you're going to need a sound to remind you ?
  • by Toby_Tyke (797359) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:28PM (#16021257) Journal
    They will have to come up with some kind of way to turn it off.

    They already did. You turn off the speakers. Or, if your speakers don't have an independent power switch (say they're built into your monitor), then just mute the sound in windows. I don't know about Vista, but XP stays muted after you reboot.

    I really don't see this as a big deal. I normally only turn on my speakers after my computer has booted, so I rarely, if ever, hear a startup sound. I can see it annoying notebook users, since they often don't have hardware volume controls these days, but even then, we're talking about a 5 second startup sound. Annoying, yes. A reason not to use the OS? Hardly. My Gamecube, DS and mobile phone all make a noise when turned on. I would prefer it if they din't, but I care about it so little that I can't even be bothered to hunt through the settings on the phone to turn the sound off.

  • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:30PM (#16021273) Homepage
    A turd is still a turd, even if you "only" have to step in it once a week (, month, year...).
  • by overacid (604542) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:30PM (#16021274)
    Jeezus, relax people. FTFA:
    1. A spiritual side of the branding experience. A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now concious and ready to react. You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in. You won't need to wait for your machine to startup, he says.

    2. Volume control in a Windows machine is a wild west. A mess. The startup sound is designed to help you calibrate or fix something that got out of wack when you startup your machine. Let's say you muted your machine, and you don't hear your startup sound, you know you aren't ready to listen to stuff. The Xbox has a hard-wired startup sound. There is one way to mute it: to turn down the speakers that are connected to your Xbox. Same will be true for Windows Vista.
    Fact of the matter is: the massive target base of Windows users are stupid. They need and like this sort of thing. Like it or not. If you are the latter, then don't install it, use linux like i'm sure you already do. On the other hand if you still wish to install it, i'm sure there will be a fix/patch/whatever which will satisfy your needs.
  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:07PM (#16021453) Homepage

    I don't know about Vista, but XP stays muted after you reboot.

    Until they decide that the branding is so important that they have to override the volume setting to play the sound. I can hear the meeting somewhere in the bowels of Microsoft... "Since we don't know what volume level it should be if the user mutes the sound, we'll just play at at maximum volume, no matter what the volume setting is." (I can't wait for the first hearing impairment lawsuit for someone getting blasted with that sound while wearing headphones)

  • by Millenniumman (924859) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:54PM (#16021676)
    Two things I'd like to note:

    OS X's market share is not decreasing, and the number of users is increasing a lot.

    OS X does have things like the fancy dock animations, but unlike similar things in Windows, they don't get in your way, and they are actually nice.

    Windows isn't more flexible than OS X in most ways. Yes, it has built in theme support. Essentially, I can change Windows XP from horrid, gaudy, bright purple and green to icky silver and green. Woohoo. None of that makes the interface any better, functionally.

    OS X's interface isn't just better because you can look at it without going blind, it is far more intuitive and easy to use. And it includes support for the Klingon Language.
  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:05AM (#16021717)

    But Apple can do no wrong here on /., so the point is moot.

    There. I fixed it for you.

    Look, this is either an idiotic thing that should be an option controllable by the user or it's not, and whichever it is, it is regardless of how many times somebody might reboot their computer.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many excuses people here can come up with for why their double standards aren't double standards. I expect no less than 5-6 more in reply to this post.

  • by VendettaMF (629699) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:08AM (#16021738) Homepage
    Almost all Toshiba machines (lkaptops anyway) have a genuine mechanical wheel attached directly to a pair of pots on the output. Once moe sanity triumphs over digital madness!
  • by kevinadi (191992) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:14AM (#16021756)
    About the only laptop manufacturer left that still includes an actual potentiometer volume control is Toshiba, AFAIK, for all their models. All the others are using software for volumes, dedicated volume key or not.

    I have no idea why no other brands do this, but having an actual volume control is extremely useful. I hardly ever touch windows' horrible software volume control and just leave it at maximum.
  • by 10Ghz (453478) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:16AM (#16021770)
    Only if you haven't muted audio. If you mute the audio output and then reboot (or shutdown and then power on), you won't hear the power-on chime.


    So it's similar to Vista then? You need to mute the computer in order to not hear the chine, and then un-mute it again?

    I don't know about rest of you guys, but I find the Mac startup-chime _annoying_. And the user should be able to disable with zero hassle, and in such way that it does not affect rest of the system!
  • Re:Don't do this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevinadi (191992) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:16AM (#16021771)
    The smart ones would hibernate their laptop instead, so there's no startup sound when it turns on.
  • by 0xB00F (655017) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:22AM (#16021790) Homepage Journal
    Mod points? Since when did Anonymous Cowards get mod points?
  • by fm6 (162816) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:25AM (#16021802) Homepage Journal
    For this very reason one of the first setup steps I always do on a new machine is to turn off the startup sign.

    I do it because having some corny sound play every time I reboot is just too much to bear.

    What really bugs me is that Scoble says he can "see both sides" of the issue. What kind of workplace culture does Microsoft have, where they'd even consider imposing such an obnoxious feature?

    This isn't going to happen, of course. The "you have got to be kidding" emails must be already pouring in. But the fact that this is an issue says nasty things about the Redmond mentality.

  • by Jetson (176002) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:43AM (#16021867) Homepage
    The majority of broadcast automation applications still run on Windows. When I worked at KDKD, we had all the on-air PCs set to "No Sounds"... It's always funny to hear a Windows sound on the radio.

    I wonder how fast MS would react if the next sound on the radio was always the announcer saying "Sorry about that, folks. Windows crashed again. You know how it is with those unreliable computers and their mandatory sounds. I hope we get a Mac next time."

  • by the_womble (580291) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:44AM (#16021873) Homepage Journal
    The last thing MS (or anyother proprietary software company) want is for anyone to read (or hear) the EULA.

    If people knew what was in them they might object.
  • by Korin43 (881732) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:53AM (#16021915) Homepage
    From the article: 1. A spiritual side of the branding experience. A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now concious and ready to react. You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in. You won't need to wait for your machine to startup, he says. Does it really take that long for Vista to boot up?
  • by NaDrew (561847) <nadrew@gmail.com> on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:30AM (#16022071) Journal
    I still check in on those boxes. One has 994 days of uptime, and the other has, as of last week, 1190 days.
    I know you said you worked, past tense, for the company that owns those servers. But you must realize that however spiffy those uptime stats may be, they also mean that critical updates and service packs have not been installed. Most of the security-related patches require a reboot, and 2003 Service Pack 1 certainly does.
  • by SpecBear (769433) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:38AM (#16022099)

    They don't give a rat's ass what the user thinks. They're putting the brand head of their users.

    Most users won't care about this, they'll just leave their systems in their default settings. The people who want to change the startup sounds will be annoyed that they can't. Nobody's going to say "I'm really glad I can't change my startup sound like I could in XP." Thus, MS is introducing a feature that people will either dislike or be unware of.

    Building your brand at the expense of your users is bad for both your brand and your users. As I once told our marketing guy: "Having a strong brand is useless if people recognize us and say 'Oh, it's those annoying fucks again.'"

  • April fools? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idaho (12907) on Friday September 01, 2006 @04:18AM (#16022533)
    /me looks at calendar

    No it's not april fools day...

    This can't be serious guys, just imagine booting your laptop during some meeting (happens all the time), conference, whatever, and being unable to disable that sound. That would piss off so many people that just this would be reason enough to switch back to XP.

    Nah, Microsoft is doing a good job of shooting themselves in the foot lately, but this is too much...I think Scobleizer is pulling our legs here :D
  • by MooUK (905450) on Friday September 01, 2006 @04:52AM (#16022631)
    What you've said, in essence, is "turning off sound turns off the sound". Of course it does. But that's not a solution in the slightest. There is absolutely no reason why we should not be able to disable a sound like that.

    Although if it's the POST beep equivalent, that's another matter, I suppose...
  • Re:Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Friday September 01, 2006 @05:28AM (#16022753)
    We're all capable of swapping the startup.wav for an empty file, should we so wish.


    Unless, of course, they tag it for WFP [microsoft.com]. That means, whenever you change it, Windows promptly changes it back and then displays a dialog telling you off for being such a naughty boy. In current versions of Windows, it's possible to disable WFP, but there's no particular reason why that should remain true.

    They're currently talking about whether or not to do something like this.
  • by gd23ka (324741) on Friday September 01, 2006 @05:38AM (#16022779) Homepage
    1, "I see you are using OpenOffice.org or StarOffice. Microsoft does not recommend the use of this software."

    2, "We're sorry but your time credit to use Microsoft Word has expired. Please purchase additional
    Microsoft Points to continue." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Points)

    3. Your hardware vendor has made available an improved successor product to following system component in
    your computer: Enrage Winforce 3000. Microsoft has been requested to disable the driver support of
    this obsolete component. You have 13 days of operation left.

    4. Your harddisk contents have been subpoenaed by an authorized entity: Ministry of Folklore and Culture of
    the Republic of Bulgaria.

    5. Your computer is about to access the internet on your behalf. Please thumbscan.

    6. The DRM permission database has not been updated in 7 days. Please connect to the internet to continue
    with playback.

    7. The Department of Homeland Security has revoked your access to the internet.

    8. How do you wish to pay for printing Microsoft Word documents? Select one of the following:
    One month of unlimited access for 400 Microsoft Points
    10 Microsoft Points per printed page

    9. I see you have started Microsoft Word. Would you like to participate in a customer survey?

    10. This mobile computer has detected a wireless computing device in your vicinity that has
    not been registered with Microsoft.

  • Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a_greer2005 (863926) on Friday September 01, 2006 @06:05AM (#16022845)
    computershave "forced" the start sounder for like 20 years and I have never seen a complaint, why is it ok for Apple and not for Windows?
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday September 01, 2006 @06:25AM (#16022893)
    Just stick an adapter (1/8" plug--1/4" jack would be good) into it. Pick one up at your local Radio Shack. Cheaper, less clumsy, and no noise whatsoever.

    Chris Mattern
  • Prats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) * on Friday September 01, 2006 @08:47AM (#16023316) Homepage
    So apparently, whoever thought this up doesn't ever, ever, ever use their laptop/computer in:

    1) Schools, Colleges, Universities
    2) Offices
    3) Libraries
    4) Home use at night
    5) Conferences
    6) Broadcast applications
    7) Confined areas (trains, planes, wifi hotspots, cafes)
    8) With an amplifier

    Apart from the obvious waste of MY money that I gave MS with my purchases, which they have spent to hire someone to make a sound that I don't want and will never want to hear (no matter what MS say), this is a mind-trick.

    Soon, the execs will "realise" that their customers have concerns and provide an off switch, thus putting into people's minds that they "listen to their customers". They were thinking that all along, it's just another way for people to continue talking about Vista that they will "remedy" by the time it comes out. It stops people thinking "But is it secure, is it easy to use, is it cheap, is it compatible?" and instead make them think "Well, they solved the worst problem, that stupid startup sound can be turned off". I don't want an "experience" with an OS. I would want to get some work done. I don't want it all to be integrated and matching - I would want it to boot fast, get on the Internet securely and not get in my way.

    I turn off ALL sounds, no matter what the OS. And I usually have my speakers off except when I'm anticipating an IM and have turned its notification sound on, or when I choose to have sound (DVD's, MP3's etc.).

    This is what used to wind me up about Windows - I have little to no control over the OS without bundling it full of freeware to do the job. I don't WANT Adobe Acrobat pre-loading at startup - I use it on less than 5% of my boots. In order to GET ASKED whether I want it to happen or not I have to install things like Startup Monitor from www.mlin.net. And still Adobe insists on re-trying every time I update it. I don't WANT it to, ever, at all, in any way, but there's no option for that.

    I don't WANT program X to access the Internet - at all, ever, under any circumstances. It might be a game that has absolutely no need to, or that I only use on the LAN, or it might be trying to act as a server all the time, thus giving me an instant security hole. But it's going to take until Vista for me to get a choice of whether or not I will allow it unless I install ZoneAlarm or something similar (which I've been using for this purpose for many years now).

    I don't WANT program X to install itself under some silly subdirectory - I really don't. Program Files is possibly the worst organised folder on any Windows drive because everything that ends up there chooses it's own structure - by company name, by product name, by some weird abbreviation - I don't WANT that. I CAN and WILL choose where this stuff goes, given half a chance. I have systems that differ from the software authors idea for a good place... I have categories - Audio/Video, Internet, Games, Graphics, Hardware, Utilities, all of which I have a perfectly clear idea of what should be where - I can organise my start menu in this way but rarely do you get a choice of where a game sticks its icons. Even rarer is the program that lets you CHOOSE where you install on the hard drive.

    I also WANT to be able to move any folder without breaking anything and having to regedit to fix it (if its possible to move it at all). I don't WANT My Documents or My Music or My Pictures or anything My, I have a perfectly well organised file structure myself and don't want every program creating a "My" directory and putting its stuff in there.

    I don't WANT to have to use five-thousand user-land applications that all put an icon in my system tray that I cannot remove without breaking stuff, cannot hide without a load of freeware and do not ever WANT just to use a poxy mouse or a hotkey or a wifi card. I don't WANT stuff to Auto-Update without my say-so, no matter how important someone else deems it is - I will choose WHEN and WHAT updates I install after carefully readi
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday September 01, 2006 @08:55AM (#16023350)

    What really bugs me is that Scoble says he can "see both sides" of the issue. What kind of workplace culture does Microsoft have, where they'd even consider imposing such an obnoxious feature?

    I'll guarantee they've contracted work to some "user experience" guru who says some crap about how sound is a more primal sense than sight, and that to properly brand Windows you have to associate it with a sound, and that this sound must always be associated with Windows.

    Of course, what they haven't thought of is that you don't want to associate your OS with a reboot these days. So this might backfire on them.

  • Consumer devices (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marcomarrero (521557) on Friday September 01, 2006 @09:07AM (#16023394)

    This is another attempt of making PC as dumb as household appliances, ironically appliances are becoming more like PC's.

    Windows is also becoming less friendly toward power users. I'll have to do my own windows setup script, or a program to do many things like: turn off useless GUI animations, destroy Accessibility, annihilate Windows themes, obliterate the menu delay, eradicate many useless windows services, turn off Auto Insert, Tab auto complete, and... Oh... there is more, I'll remember when I reinstall Windows. The stupid search needs a whole section: Turn off the stupid search dog, turn on advanced search, destroy windows zip support (there's no option to avoid searching into zip files), and search on all files when I write something on "containing text" (for example, it skips *.sql files!). I do miss the older search screen, if it hadn't a limitation on the number of entries found.

    I always knew we would be using MS Bob against our will sooner or later!

    It is like most modern audio equipment, you can't control the EQ, they just have stupid presets. It's about giving people less freedom, but that makes things easier to market and sell to most consumers. Maybe even makes it easier to translate, document and support. The iPod is a perfect example: simplicity sells.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Friday September 01, 2006 @09:08AM (#16023399) Journal
    You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in. You won't need to wait for your machine to startup, he says.

    He's then also saying you need a preset sound that can't be changed to realize your computer is on, and you won't hear this equally well with a custom sound that you've picked yourself. In what tragic accident did this guy lose his brain cells?
    Volume control in a Windows machine is a wild west. A mess. The startup sound is designed to help you calibrate or fix something that got out of wack when you startup your machine.

    Good point. This is useful for a one-time startup sound indeed, or a sound you can keep on for as long as you wish yourself. When you're happy with your sound settings, you're then forced to keep it o... whaa, wait a minute, why is that? My sound effects are already OK, why should I keep hearing it? This can't be anything else than a cover up reason for the real object:

    Make the Windows startup an annoying and enforced branding sound so people will hear "oh, this is Vista!"

    Maybe a kind of cool thought the first 2 minutes or so of Vista user installs at a company or home, but hardly after 2 years.
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 01, 2006 @09:22AM (#16023449) Homepage
    I'd hardly praise C# as a language that should be included with an OS.

    I mean a real compiler where I can do real work in. All these new langs are a fad. Look at what went on with Java, all of a suddent PHP comes out and it's like "they don't solve the same problems but I simply cannot resist the urge to write everything in PHP now!" then ASP shit then .NET same stuff over and over.

    All the while good ol' C and C++ are still the driving force of this software and other stuff anyways.

    I'd rather have a good C compiler bundled with my OS than any other compiler/language combo. At least then I could use it to develop applications which are portable, hence broaden my possible customer base and make more money like a good capitalist.

    Tom
  • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Friday September 01, 2006 @09:45AM (#16023584) Homepage Journal

    As a longtime Linux user I find the whole debate kind of funny. (Anti-flame disclaimer: I don't mean to 'should' or 'shouldn't' anyone regarding their choice of operating system.) It's kind of a stragne scenario, isn't it? In the end, Microsoft will probably put a checkbox in a Control Panel GUI that lets you turn off this sound, or even (if the marketing people can be distracted with something else for long enough) change the sound to something else. At the very least they'll have a Registry setting for it. But in the mean time there's a guy at Microsoft trying to make a decision about whether Windows users should be allowed to turn off a noise their computer makes. A pleasant-sounding noise, to be sure. But the decision is entirely in the hands of a person who, if the marketing people have strong enough control over Vista's brand image, might decide there's nothing Windows users should be allowed to do about it. Short of getting their hands very dirty with a hex editor, that is.

    A very foreign idea to me. My current distribution of choice, Ubuntu, has some sounds enabled, and they do add to the brand image. And I do turn them off. And no one, not even the designers at Canonical, can ever tell me that I can't.

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