The story behind the iconic Windows XP “Bliss” photo


Windows XP finally, after more than a decade, reached end of life earlier this week, finally marking the end of a storied operating system that, despite a few early hiccups and a couple of major security issues that, by Service Pack 2, stabilized the OS and ensured its longevity.

One of the major things that the OS attempted was to liven up Windows, which was a somewhat monochromatic experience, with a gray taskbar, start button and menu. A candy-colored color scheme leaning on greens and blues took the stage, and a picture, called “Bliss,” became the default OS background, making it one of the most famous pictures ever.

But what of that picture?  Was it Photoshopped, nipped and tucked to match the color scheme of the OS and to make it pop even more?  The story is somewhat interesting and surprising. Microsoft celebrates “Bliss” in the video above, as the OS fades into the sunset.  Meet the photographer behind the photo, learn its origins, and enjoy.

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