Charles O'Rear

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Charles O'Rear (born 1941) is an American stock photographer for Getty Images and formerly Corbis until its acquisition in 2016. He is best known for taking Windows XP's default wallpaper Bliss, which has become one of the most viewed images in the world as a result of XP's success. As the image was not licensed but rather acquired, he received a great sum of money for it. He also took Red moon desert, also included in XP, which served as the default wallpaper in some Beta 2 builds, along with the highway wallpaper used in a Blackcomb UI demo. His photography generally focuses on subjects such as vineyards and technology.

In 1980 he co-founded stock photo agency Westlight with Craig Aurness (who took the XP Beta sample picture Surfer). The company would be bought by Bill Gates' Corbis in 1998, one of the stock photo agencies Microsoft frequently licensed from, which itself was acquired by Unity Glory/Visual China Group in 2016.

Images used in Windows[edit | edit source]

Title Name Origin Used in Notes
Bliss.jpg Bucolic Green Hills Bliss Corbis Windows XP (wallpaper, advertisements) Default wallpaper, also used as the branding image to represent Windows XP.
Highway Winding Through Countryside.jpg Highway Winding Through Countryside N/A Corbis Windows Blackcomb UI Demo (wallpaper)
Red moon desert.jpg Full Moon over Red Dunes Red moon desert Corbis Windows XP (wallpaper) Default wallpaper of Whistler builds 2428 to 2463.