The Microsoft Sound
In 1994, Microsoft corporation designers Mark Malamud and Erik Gavriluk approached Brian Eno to compose music for the Windows 95 project. The result was the six-second start-up music-sound of the Windows 95 operating system, The Microsoft Sound. In an interview with Joel Selvin in the San Francisco Chronicle Brian Eno said:
The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, "Here's a specific problem — solve it."
The thing from the agency said, "We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah-blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional," this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said "and it must be 31/4 seconds long."[† 1]
I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel.In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.
Eno shed further light on the composition of the sound on the BBC Radio 4 show The Museum of Curiosity, explaining that he created it using an Apple Mac computer, and stating "I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them".