Bliss Ends When Microsoft Pulls The Plug On XP Support

Bliss is the default computer desktop image when Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is launched. The photo, taken by Charles O'Rear, is of a highway in Napa Valley after a storm cleared.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Bliss.

That's the name of an iconic photograph that you might associate with this sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC FOR WINDOWS XP OPERATING SYSTEM)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Bliss is the default computer desktop image you see on your computer when you launch Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. The photo features rolling green hills, a blue sky with white clouds. The colors are so vivid you might think it's fake.

CHARLES O'REAR: It's the real deal. It was made here in wine country, nothing retouched, no Photoshop, that is how it looked.

GREENE: All right. That's photographer Charles O'Rear. He took the picture along a highway in California's Napa Valley 18 years ago, moments after a storm cleared.

O'REAR: Little did I know that it would end up being what is considered the most viewed photograph in history, as a screensaver of Windows XP.

INSKEEP: Having to look at the picture now, it is very familiar. But as of today, Microsoft will no longer support that old operating system and with XP, away goes Bliss. But Charles O'Rear says he's not sad.

O'REAR: I think the photograph as an icon is going to be around in our lives forever because it has been seen by so many people, it could be billions.

INSKEEP: So while you may be able to shutdown XP, you probably cannot erase the memory of Bliss.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC FOR WINDOWS XP OPERATING SYSTEM)

INSKEEP: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Don't shut it down. We're around day after day after day. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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