By Simonbook - 26 Apr 2015 in
The default Windows XP wallpaper containing rolling green hills, blue sky and fluffy white clouds is a real photo, taken by a real photographer - Charles O'Rear, now 73.
You are probably thinking OMFG he must have lolled all the way to the bank? Wrong.
While he won't reveal how much he was paid for the photograph, a stock image library item at the time, he said had it been licensed to earn even just a fraction of a cent per copy of Windows XP sold he would've earned much more than he did under the deal he struck.
It was recently estimated that O'Rear's photograph, which Microsoft chose in 2001 as the default wallpaper for its XP operating system, had been viewed by no less than 1 billion people. If all 1 billion purchased a copy of XP (they didn't) — and Microsoft paid O'Rear 1 cent per copy sold — he would've made $10 million.
The photo was essentially unedited other than some saturation on the grass, and a small crop. Despite many thinking the photograph, named "Bliss", was taken in Ireland, O'Rear actually captured it whilst driving through Napa and Sonoma counties in California on the side of the highway on his way to see his then girlfriend and now wife.