Brian Eno has been in the music business for decades, but one of his most iconic pieces of work is probably not something you'd want a recording of -- though you might already have it. Eno composed the Microsoft Windows startup chime, which was originally built into the Windows 95 operating system. According to an interview on the BBC radio program The Museum of Curiosity, Microsoft commissioned Eno to write the sound and gave him a detailed list of requirements, such as limiting its length to less than 4 seconds (the finished version ended up being nearly 7 seconds long). Microsoft also supplied him with 150 adjectives (including "futuristic," "optimistic," and "sentimental") to think about as he composed. While it sounds a little restrictive for a creative artist, Eno got his revenge: He composed the startup sound on a Mac, not a PC. He told the BBC that he had "never used a PC in my life." Eno, an English musician and record producer best known for his ambient sounds, has also described himself as a "non-musician."
Do you remember Windows 95?
- The software for installing Windows 95 required 13 floppy disks.
- Microsoft paid the Rolling Stones millions of dollars to use their song "Start Me Up" in the Windows 95 promotional campaign.
- Friends cast members Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston starred in a "cyber sitcom" to show off the operating system's best features.