And it wasn’t until 2000 that Microsoft - whose chief executive Bill Gates happened to own Corbis - decided to get in touch with the photographer, telling him they wanted to pay him for the license to use the shot.
O’Rear said: “I have no idea what they were looking for.
”Were they looking for an image that was peaceful? Were they looking for an image that had no tension?”
Quick stop: Photographer Charles O’Rear captured the shot while on a drive (Wikipedia)
If that is what they were looking for, then they had certainly found it in Bliss, and the firm were so adamant about using the picture that they wanted to buy all the rights to use it - and not just for use as its default wallpaper.
O’Rear was reportedly paid one of the largest payments ever made to a photographer for a single image - though the exact figure has never been revealed as he signed a confidentiality agreement keeping the number a secret.
To give you an idea of how much money was involved, Microsoft wanted the original film sent to them but delivery companies refused to transport it as the value was more than their insurance would cover.
As a result, Microsoft instead bought a plane ticket to Seattle for O’Rear to personally hand deliver the film to them.
After that, the picture soon started to become instantly recognisable, used on Microsoft’s marketing for XP and every person - around a billion who bought the operating system - who switched on their brand new computer for the first time was faced with the picture perfect scene.
Microsoft XP was retired in 2014 and the picture still remains a part of popular culture - but what does the place where Bliss was taken look like today?
Bliss as it looks today: The scenery has changed over the past 20 years (Rex)