I've just read an article on the Windows Vista Team Blog entitled "The Sweet Sound of Windows Vista". As the pages states, "right before the log on screen appears in Windows Vista, an animation of the new Windows "orb" appears with a non-customizable start-up sound".
Thus every single Vista system will be hard coded to be noisy at start up? There's a second sound that plays at logon (although you can apparently turn this off). What are these guys smoking? Can you imagine an office full of Vista boxes starting up every morning? According to one MS manager: "My own belief is that most users will adapt"
The justification is that it'll help users know their sound is working correctly. Oh - and the X-Box does it so that's OK?
I wonder if the PMs that think this stuff up have ever had a real job in a real office with real people? I can only imagine next TechEd when 5000 Geeks all turn on their Vista boxes during the executive Key Note (although that'll be too late for MS - but they might get the message)!