Microsoft’s 2023 ugly sweater lets you wear the famous Windows XP wallpaper

Microsoft has debuted its annual ugly sweater, which this year is celebrating one of the most iconic wallpapers of all time. That’s right — Microsoft has made a sweater out of “Bliss,” the default background in Windows XP.

Windows XP Bliss Ugly sweater

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The sweater is $69.99 over at Microsoft’s Xbox Gear Shop, with some of the proceeds going to the Nature Conservancy, a non-profit charity focused on conservation, biodiversity, and finding solutions to climate crises.

This year’s sweater looks a bit like “Bliss,” the famed 1996 photo that became one of the most recognizable images on the planet when Windows XP launched in 2001, but has more of an illustrated feel. If it weren’t for the mouse cursor, you may need to look for it.

Look, the resemblance is totally there, and there’s only so much you can do on a knit sweater. On the other hand, if you saw that on your desktop, you might think you were having issues with your graphics drivers.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has put out an ugly sweater in time for the holidays. I’m the proud owner of the Windows 95 original, while other releases have included the Windows XP logo, Clippy, Paint, and Minesweeper.

Whether or not you’re into the sweater, Microsoft clearly realizes that the Bliss wallpaper invokes nostalgia. Over on the ugly sweater site, you can download the famous wallpaper for whatever computer you’re using today and your phone with new mobile versions. The desktop and mobile versions also come with Sketch, Pop Art, and Watercolor variants (I wonder if Microsoft’s AI had anything to do with those).

Like previous ugly sweaters, Microsoft will sell this one directly while supplies last. While they’ve come back before, this may be your last and only chance to show your allegiance to one of Microsoft’s best operating systems ever.

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