The history of the famous Windows XP background

Chuck O’Rear had traveled dozens of times this road, leading, in just over an hour, from St. Helena (California) to Marin County, where Daphe Larkin, who later became his companion, was waiting for him.
it’s january 1996 and Chuck drives through Sonoma’s “Los Carneros” wine country in search of some shots for the local wine book he’s working on with Daphne. His many years as a photographer for National Geographic have accustomed him to wearing his Mamiya RZ67 always with him, ready to capture the unexpected, the right shot at the right time. O’Rear turns his head and looks out the window, sees a gentle hill, the green is emerald, the sky blue. He stops the car.

During those weeks, the Sonoma area had been subjected to heavy rains, which rejuvenated the area’s lawns, much like the one in front of which Chuck now stands, ready to snap a photo he has no particular expectation of. The chosen film is Fuji film Velvia, which will help to better saturate the colors of the landscape. The shot is successful, Chuck and Daphne however do not choose it for the book and it is therefore put up for sale thanks to the Corbis agency.

Silicon Valley at that time was not only green hills and beautiful landscapes, but the great season of invention in technology and computing was growing every day. It’s a few years after O’Rear’s stoppage, we are in 2000, that Microsoft is looking for the default wallpaper for Windows XP, its new operating system that Bill Gates will launch in October 2001.
The choice falls on the photo of Sonoma Hill, immediately renamed “Happiness.” The photographer never revealed why Microsoft bought all the rights to “Bliss”; he said that it is “the second highest sum ever paid in the world for the purchase of a single photograph” and that a non-disclosure agreement has been signed with the company.

Happiness |  Collateral

Chuck O’Rear isn’t sure why Microsoft chose “Bliss” as the photo for Windows XP, but over the years he’s watched how it’s become probably the most viewed photo in history. Microsoft tweaked the colors of the sky slightly and cropped O’Rear’s photo slightly to the left, but otherwise this photographer’s so ordinary journey entered billions of computers around the world.
“Bliss” has appeared on the biggest billboards in Times Square, in the private lives of many of us, and in events of historical significance. For example, Chuck and Daphne said People how they noticed “Bliss” in the computer background of the first historical diplomatic link between North Korea and South Korea.
The story of “Bliss” is simple, a Californian hill that has become a private space for billions of people is the story of an opportunity, which could have been seized simply by looking out the window.

Happiness |  Collateral

About Sally E. Bartley

Check Also

How to Fix Your Ethernet Connection Not Working in Windows 11

Next post — What is Gigabit Ethernet? 3 Reasons You Need It (And 2 Reasons …