Windows XP is dead. Long live Windows XP 'Bliss'
In 2001 Microsoft released the Windows XP operating system and with it an iconic desktop photograph. Referred to as 'Bliss', the lush landscape of rolling grass hills and a crystal-blue sky has, to Microsoft's estimation, been seen by at least a billion people.
To celebrate the retiring of the XP operating system (they stopped supporting it April 8), Microsoft tracked down the original photographer, Charles 'Chuck' O'Rear, and talked to him about the shot, which he originally took in 1996.
O'Rear, a former National Geographic photographer, didn’t have Microsoft in mind when he shot the image. Traveling between his Napa, California residence and San Francisco he spotted the verdant hills and set up his camera gear. In the video, O'Rear displays a Mamiya RZ67 medium format camera and explains he shot the image using Fujichrome Velvia.
He shot four frames and his Corbis reps contacted him to acquire the original slides, which he couldn't send via courier because the value was so high. O'Rear says the original frame was unaltered and unedited when he submitted it. However, Microsoft cropped and turned up the saturation for the desktop wallpaper version.
'I have a theory that anybody now from age 15 on for the rest of their life will remember this photograph', says O’Rear.
|The hillside image that was Windows XP's 'Bliss' desktop wallpaper.|
Do you remember this image? Is it still set as your desktop wallpaper?