September 21, 2023

Times One Odia

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That classic Windows XP wallpaper is a REAL PLACE! Here’s how it looks like after 20 years

2 min read

Anyone who has used a Windows computer will recall the famous XP default wallpaper, which featured a slope covered in the tiniest bit of grass and a deep blue sky sprinkled with a few clouds.

In case you didn’t know, it’s an actual location and a Reddit user recently paid a visit and snapped a picture of how it appears right now.

The image was uploaded by Reddit user eatnumber1, and it depicts a region that still appears to be verdant but is now covered in vineyards. Check it out below.

According to PCWorld, Charles O’Rear took the initial picture in 1998 while travelling through Sonoma County, California, to meet his future wife. O’Rear told PCWorld, “I got out, snapped a few photos, and continued on going. “The rest is history,” was said.

Then O’Rear submitted his picture, “Bliss,” through the archiving and image licencing firm Corbis. Bill Gates also founded and owned Corbis at the time. Whoever discovered “Bliss” at Windows is unknown, but Windows XP now uses it as its default background.

If you’re ever in California, you can drive to this location on Google Maps to explore the same area. In a conversation with Microsoft Netherlands, O’Rear discusses the iconic image in more detail.


The default desktop background of Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system is bliss, which was formerly known as bucolic green hills. The Los Carneros American Viticultural Area of California’s Wine Country is depicted in this almost entirely unedited picture, along with a green hill and a blue sky with white clouds.

The image was taken in January 1996 by Charles O’Rear, and Microsoft acquired the rights in 2000. The image has reportedly been viewed by billions of people, potentially making it the most viewed image in history.

The picture was chosen by Microsoft because it “illustrates the experiences Microsoft strives to provide customers (freedom, possibility, calmness, warmth, and so on).” Because of the market success of Windows XP, it was asserted over the next decade that it was the most-viewed photograph in the world at the time.

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