The Transnational Hunt for a Windows Wallpaper


By Jonathan H

Photo Copyright Peter Burian and Corbis
The hunt came to an end for writer Nick Tosches, who finally discovered that photographer Peter Burian of Ontario, Canada was behind the famous Windows XP background: Autumn (c) Peter K. Burian. Visit Peter’s incredible collection of images, at

Kilbride, OntarioGeography is sometimes right in front of you — especially if you work in a cubicle.

Ever wonder who took the famous autumn picture that Windows XP offers as part of its desktop theme? Nick Tosches, Vanity Fair Contributing Editor ended up in a worldwide cat-and-mouse-game trying to find out.

His search went through public relations firms, photo stock agencies, freelance photographers, editors, even the personal e-mail inbox of Bill Gates himself. The elusive coordinates of the “Autumn” scene were finally discovered, but only after months of searching.

WE all know the image — a long line of golden trees surround the faint outline of a barn, rustic fences buffet the edge of the path — it all just looks so dreamy and so very uncubicle-like. Really, it’s an iconic symbol of post-modern technology. Bill Gates’ Corbis agency owns the rights to the image, but declined to offer the photographer’s name.

So Tosches e-mailed Russian image sellers, talked to Vermont tourism agencies, a New York ad exec, and even his own brother. After an exhaustive search, he found the place: Kilbride, Canada — a quaint village in Ontario.

Now if only every office was Kilbride. And every tree-lined lane looked like the bucolic path to the Harris Homestead… Ah, it would be great to go to work via that path every day…


2 comments on “The Transnational Hunt for a Windows Wallpaper

  1. John Kerry on said:

    that is one hot dog

  2. rajive on said:

    I can cry watching over it .Its so beautiful.

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