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The Lasso: Roping in the best of the web

Updated Apr 13, 2014 - 10:01 pm

Microsoft reveals story behind iconic Windows XP wallpaper

Remember the default background image on the desktop of Microsoft Windows XP? It consisted of rolling green hills and a moderately cloudy sky.

Many PC owners may still see the image daily as they turn on their computers, being that some believe XP was the last Windows operating system to work efficiently.

Microsoft recently discontinued offering technical support for XP, even though users are still welcome to host it on their PCs. An estimated 30 percent of the world's computers still run the operating system.

Last week, the software giant released a nine-minute video that tells the story behind "probably the most-viewed image of the world."

The "Bliss" image almost looks too good to be real, but conists of an actual piece of scenery north of San Francisco. Charles O'Rear took the picture not far from his home at just the right time -- in the right part of the year -- in early 1996.

The photo wouldn't become renowned until 2001, when XP launched. Microsoft bought the image from O'Rear, who tells the story behind it in the following video.

The Loop

About the Author


School: ASU

Started with Bonneville Phoenix: June 2013

Moved to Arizona: Summer of '93 -- right after Suns' run to the Finals

Favorite sports memory: Staying up late to watch Jake Plummer and ASU shut out top-ranked Nebraska in '96

Favorite all-time athletes: Ben Wallace, Wayman Tisdale, Pat Tillman

Favorite sports movies: Field of Dreams, White Men Can't Jump, Happy Gilmore

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