Cybernet News writes: I'm one that tends to turn off most of the system sounds on my computer. I've never really found them useful, and in fact, most of the time they annoy me. Last August when it was reported that Microsoft was not going to allow you to disable the startup sound in Vista, many people including myself were a little upset. Luckily they changed their minds, and I can now disable it.
If you enjoy all of the sounds in your operating system and you're using Windows Vista, you'll notice that many of them sound much different than those in XP. One major difference besides the actual sounds is the difference that they were encoded. XP Sounds were encoded at 352 kpbs while Vista sounds were encoded at 1,411 kbps. Vista sounds are clearly better quality, but they also tend to be shorter than any of the sounds in XP as well.
A nice comparison of Vista Sounds versus XP sounds can be found here.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Sounds, Tips, Tricks, Tweaks