Microsoft Teases Its Windows 11 Event With 11-Minute Video of Startup Sounds

A thumbnail of Microsoft’s “slo-fi” background.

A thumbnail of Microsoft’s “slo-fi” background.
Screenshot: YouTube

As we wait to hear more about the next big update for Windows, Microsoft just teased the upcoming launch event with a medley of various startup sounds. The melodies for Windows 95, Windows XP, and Windows 7 have all been slowed down and linked together to form an 11-minute “slo-fi” experience. It’s a tad jarring to listen to at times—depending on how kindly you take to high-pitched sounds—but the scenery in the video is mainly of the hills and skies that Microsoft has used previously as inspiration for each respective operating system’s default wallpaper.

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The YouTube reel of startup sounds is undoubtedly a tribute to the many years we’ve spent with Windows. It’s also a teaser for the upcoming Microsoft event on June 24, which kicks off at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. 

Curiously, Microsoft seems to have chosen startup sounds related to the versions of Windows that had the more significant interface overhauls. With the rumors circulating that the next expected version of Windows will be getting the Sun Valley overhaul, it seems that’s what Microsoft is angling for here.

Sun Valley is the codename of the aesthetic changes coming to Windows, though it’s unclear if the rollout will be primarily through the launch of Windows 11. Windows 10 users will get some of the updates, as well, with some already seeing the changes in the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21343.

Last month, Microsoft announced its plans to bail on the development of Windows 10X, a dual-screen-friendly operating system it had announced back in fall 2019. According to a Windows insider, part of the reason is that Windows 10X didn’t seem to resonate with user needs, so Microsoft shifted the focus to developing the Sun Valley visual refresh.

From what we’ve seen so far, everything is getting a new look, from rounded corners on the main graphic user interface to the little bits that make up the system, like the Microsoft Store, the settings panel, and even system icons. The changes will apply to other aspects of Microsoft’s ecosystem, too, as there’s even a new default font for Word in the making. It’s not just visual changes coming, either. The next Windows update will include new features, like support for the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC), which has rendered some headphones and earbuds useless on Windows 10 for many years.

There’s no word on whether Microsoft will be launching a full version like Windows 11 or if it will call this update something simple and chic, like “The Sun Valley Update.” Either way, we’ll find out later this month if we’re getting a big Windows overhaul or a design-focused refresh.

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