Windows XP wallpaper: history and how to download it for free from Microsoft

After the definitive withdrawal of the operating system, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft published a video on the history of the then “most viewed image in the world”, i.e. Windows XP wallpaper. Charles O’Rearphotographer of National Geographictook the photo depicting green hills and a blue sky dotted with clouds on June 24, 1996.

The man says that the place depicted in thedefault desktop image of Windows XP really exists and is located along the busy road that connects San Francisco to Napa Valley, in Sonoma County (USA). The photographer was in those parts during a trip to visit his girlfriend: he was enchanted by the beauty of that panorama. He would never have imagined that his shot would become the protagonist of one of the most successful operating systems in Microsoft’s history.

Bliss: the story of a photo that became the wallpaper of Windows XP

O’Rear decided to stop to take what would become a “historic” photo, displayed for years and years on the desktop of millions of personal computers Windows XPfrom systems installed at government level to those of private users.

Microsoft chose O’Rear’s “shot” (captured using a reflex camera Mamiya RZ67) even if some technicians of the Redmond giant contested theauthenticity of the photo: “it is artfully edited, it is photoshopped“. The photographer has always sent any criticism back to the sender, explaining that the photo is not the result of any modification. And he recounts the moment of “ecstasy” (it was not for nothing that the image was baptized “Bliss“) which led to that historic shot.

To see what they look like today hills photographed more than 27 years ago by O’Rear, you can click on this link to open Google Street View and check the panorama immortalized by the photographer. We suggest clicking See other datestop left, to get the same view in different periods of time.

Windows XP wallpaper: Microsoft publishes it for free

Almost 10 years after the abandonment of Windows XP, Microsoft celebrates the wallpaper today Windows Bliss with an initiative that winks at the nostalgic.

From the Xbox Gear Shop website it is possible download free the wallpaper of Windows XP, in the original version and in three exclusive “pictorial” variants. Just scroll down the page until you find the “Rep your fav wallpaper” then click on the buttons Download desktop or Download mobile.

Windows XP Wallpaper: Free Download

Yes, because Microsoft not only offers the Windows XP wallpaper in the guise for i desktop system but it also offers it in the variant intended for mobile devices.

Files containing the string “OG” in the name correspond to the original version of the photo, as used on Windows XP.

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