Da-dum, da-dum. So goes the new start-up sound in Windows Vista . It lasts for four seconds and took 18 whole months for Microsoft to create. Estimates say that the sound will be played billions of times during the next few years.

In total, Microsoft has been working on 45 new sound sets. The key figure for the new operating system seems to be number 4. The start-up sound lasts for four seconds and is made up of four chords.

The phrase 'Windows Vista' is four syllables long whilst the Vista logo is made up of four colours, and apparently this isn't just a coincidence.

When the price of Vista was first announced, many considered it to be too high. So when it becomes known that Microsoft has spent so much and so long on just a tiny audio file, expect further critical voices to make themselves heard. Anna Lagerkvist