Bengt writes "The sounds of Vista took 18 months to get right for Microsoft. Artist Robert Fripp recorded hours of sound, and assisted Steven Ball in choosing between several different options. A clapping rhythm was rejected for 'sounding too human', and a techno beat was removed from considering because it was just the opposite." From the article: "If it seems like overkill to go to all that trouble for a few seconds of sound, consider this: Microsoft estimates that the clips such as the e-mail alert will be played trillions of times in years to come. That's a lot of opportunity to annoy, offend -- or, if the job is done right -- please or appease computer users the world over. One major concern was that the startup sound not grow grating after a time. You want a sound that people will love the first time they hear it, but it's a paradox to also say, 'Oh and by the way, we need people to love it the tenth, or the hundredth, or the thousandth time they hear it,' Ball said."