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In Windows 7 Ultimate I found a set of 10 ringtones inside the folder. And in Windows Server 2008 R2, the folder existed, but it was empty.

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The following blog post of Long Zheng explains the details about Microsoft's Ringtones folder:

You see, I thought we had all learned a lesson with the Crazy Frog and ringtones based entirely on repeating single-syllable words, but apparently not. BingTones are now invading public places around the world. In a bid to maintain social order, I come offering some ringtones from Windows 7.

As part of Windows 7′s new foundation for managing communication applications at a system level (for example, lowering the volume or muting your music when you receive a call on Skype), the operating system actually now ships with ten soundclips which can be used as ringtones, stored as WMA files under the “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones” folder, for your personalization.

There is of course nothing stopping these ringtones from being also used on a mobile phone.

I'm also copying the text in Microsoft's link in case of link rot:

Windows 7: Building Great Audio Communications Applications

Using the PC as a phone is central to the future of communications, and this session will provide you with the essentials to build the end to end experience. Windows 7 provides APIs for integrating communications capabilities into your applications. This session covers attenuating and muting sounds during a phone call, receiving a phone call using a Bluetooth headset, improving the latency of a phone call, and selecting the appropriate communications device.

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Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 use the same kernel. It is probably just common code that was borrowed, and used for both OS'es, and by accident they left that directory there on Server 2008 R2.

I can confirm that both directories exist exactly as you decribe on other clean systems.

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I understand that, but what is a "Ringtones" folder doing in Windows 7? –  ErJab Aug 3 '11 at 3:27
    
It is really hard to get an answer for a question like that because who knows exactly what they were thinking, and I tried VERY hard searching, and came up with no firm conclusion. From everything I can see, Windows itself does not use them in any way, so I think they included for two reasons: When they started developing Windows 7, ringtones was a buzz word. EVERYONE was creating ringtones, and they simply wanted in. The second reason, to possibly integrate with the Windows 7 Phone. I doubt you will get a closer answer, but I hope this helped. –  KCotreau Aug 3 '11 at 4:09
    
I tried searching for the answer too and couldn't find any myself. What's interesting though is that in Windows 7 there are some wma files inside this folder. I don't own a Windows phone myself, but I was wondering if they were the same ringtones on the Windows phone. –  ErJab Aug 3 '11 at 4:57
    
I would not be surprised at all. I thought the same thing about the ringtones being on both. As far as the searching goes, it is rare that that programmers write down every thought and make it public. –  KCotreau Aug 3 '11 at 5:09

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