Bliss, which is pretty much the most famous Windows wallpaper in the history of the operating system, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, after being shot by National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear in 1996.

While we’re not going to detail the way the official Windows XP wallpaper came to be because there’s plenty of such information out there, what is really worth mentioning is that the photo was taken in St. Helena in California and suffered no Photoshop touches.

So what you see on the Windows XP desktop is the raw photo that the National Geographer photographer shot in 1996 with absolutely no modifications, which makes it even more special.

Windows XP still shockingly popular

As for Windows XP, believe it or not, but 15 years after its launch, it continues to be just as popular as the wallpaper that it launched with.

Windows XP is still the third most-used desktop operating system in the world, with third-party market analysts claiming that it’s running on about 10 percent of the PCs out there. This is impressive, to say the least, given the fact that Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, so the operating system is no longer receiving updates and security patches since that day.

In the more recent Windows versions, Microsoft tried a different approach and actually used photos that put the Windows logo in the spotlight – as is the case of Windows 10, which comes with the same blue hero wallpaper on both desktops and mobile phones.

Without a doubt, such little things as wallpapers are pretty essential for an operating system because they can easily become an iconic element of each release while at the same time making the desktop look and feel fresh.

Bliss is undoubtedly the most famous wallpaper not only on Windows but on pretty much any other operating system out there, and there are people still using it everywhere you look.

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