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Windows XP Bliss – The Story Behind The Wallpaper

Windows XP Bliss – Can you remember the first time you saw Windows XP? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Windows XP”? The image of the Bliss wallpaper immediately springs to mind (in my mind anyway). Charles O’Rear is the photographer behind the wallpaper we will never forget. 

Windows XP Bliss

The sum of money paid by Microsoft for the Windows XP Bliss wallpaper has never been disclosed. This is probably due to some non-disclosure agreement between Microsoft and the photographer, Charles O’Rear. Having said that, none of the courier companies contacted by O’Rear were willing to courier the photograph to Microsoft when they were informed of the value of the package. Microsoft then sent O’Rear a plane ticket and asked him to bring it to them.

What followed was one of the most recognizable images in the history of computing. Windows XP Bliss graced the screens from the Kremlin to the White House. I’ve seen it on the screens of Olympic officials and on mobile devices. I’ve seen Windows XP Bliss on the screens of ATM’s, on airport arrival and departure screens. I have even seen it on the screens of a few Windows 7 and Windows 8 PC’s. So why is it that it seems as if people are not ready to let the image go along with Windows XP?

When I first used Windows XP, the image was an escape into another world away from the office hum-drum. For that split second, as I minimized my work screens, I was greeted with Bliss. The most surprising of all is that the image was not photo-shopped at all.

Ankit Gupta, siliconrepublic

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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