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From where was the world’s most viewed desktop wallpaper taken?


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The popular Windows XP wallpaper Bliss, which features a green hill against a sunny blue sky, was a staple in offices and computer rooms in the 2000s.

This was the default wallpaper for Windows XP computers that ran from 2001 to 2007.

While many may have instinctively thought it was fake – almost too quiet to be from our chaotic world – it’s actually near Sonoma, just north of San Francisco, California.

The “world’s most viewed” image and favorite desktop background is a hill outside of San Francisco

— Daily Mail USA (@DailyMail) April 14, 2023

The photo, viewed by over a billion people, was taken by photographer Charles O’Reier on a Friday afternoon in January 1996, who spotted the picture while driving to meet his then-girlfriend. He said the image was never edited, but was sold to Microsoft as is.

But since then, the image has appeared “everywhere,” including in people’s homes, offices, and even the White House.

Aurier explained to Slate where the photo was taken almost 23 years after the release of the software.

Windows XP was used by hundreds of millions of people when it was first released and received critical acclaim for its ease of use.

It was eventually superseded by other systems such as Windows Vista and Windows Server in 2008, and by the advent of the Apple Mac Book in 2006.

But by 2014, when Microsoft finally ended support for the system, around 300 million PCs were still running Windows XP.

Today, about 0.1% of all computers in the world still use this system.

Aurier, who still lives in the Napa Valley near the famous hills, told how he took this photo.

He said: “Here, north of San Francisco, there is a time of the year when the grass turns green after rain, and I know that the chances of finding beautiful hillsides are very high. Every Friday afternoon I went to visit my girlfriend near SAN FRANCISCO On that same day in January as he was driving down that winding road I call a country road, here it is. The grass is beautiful, green, the sun is shining, and there are clouds. parked, by the time “The one where I installed the camera, maybe the clouds came in, because at that moment everything changed so quickly. Now I’ve set up the camera and the clouds appear, I make a frame, move on to the next photo, which we don’t do digitally anymore, and it will take care of everything.”

Aurier said he took four photos of the hill that day, which were later bought by Microsoft.

The price was not disclosed, but it was so expensive that none of the usual courier services like FedEx carried it.

In the end, O’Rear had to deliver him personally to the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

The photo was taken on a Mamiya RZ67 camera with Fuji Film color film and a tripod.

Despite claims that the image was altered, O’Rear said it was not, but he used Fuji film, which can help improve the colors.

Speaking about the image’s impact, he said, “I had no idea where he was going. I suspect that the engineers or anyone involved in the creation of Windows XP had no idea how successful it was. it is in many places. I saw it in the White House Operations Room, maybe in a news photo. Anyone over the age of 15 will remember this photo for the rest of their lives.”

Now the hill is being plowed, and a vineyard is being built in the foreground. There were also trees behind the hill.

Source: Daily Mail

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