This Year’s Windows Ugly Sweater is the Holiday Cheer I Needed

Editor Jorge Jimenez wearing this year's Windows Ugly Sweater.

Enjoying my “Bliss.”
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

Here at Gizmodo, we love an ugly holiday sweater, and it seems admire Microsoft has outdone itself with another must-have nostalgia grab for Windows fans, specifically Windows XP fans. And here I thought there was no way it could top last year’s Clippy sweater.

This year’s Windows Ugly Sweater is inspired by the Windows XP default wallpaper—the photo of “Bliss” Hill in Sonoma, California, taken in 1996 by National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear. It’s a trip worth taking if you ever find yourself in Wine Country.

There’s a really interesting story on how the iconic photo of this real-life idyllic wonder made its way to become the default desktop wallpaper of Windows XP when the operating system launched in 2001.

I’m going just to come right out and say it. I think this thing looks great. It’s instantly recognizable, and the mouse cursor on the lower left of the sweater is a lovely touch. It’s something I’d wear unironically to a non-ugly-sweater-holiday party setting. Though, I probably should have steamed it before modeling it around the office.

Part of the sales of this $75 piece of nostalgic apparel supports The Nature Conservancy, whose work helps conserve lands and waters affected by climate change.

Ok, now for the bad news. This year’s Windows Ugly Sweater has already sold out. We reached out to Microsoft about a potential restock, and the company said that it was a limited quantity and it has no plans to restock. Bah humbug.

However, you can go to the store page and relish some Bliss-themed content. You can download the wallpaper for “Bliss” Hill for your phone and desktop or listen to an hour of soothing Lofi Beats inspired by the famous serene hill.

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