Backgrounds of the first versions of Windows
The first versions of this operating system had nothing to do with the operating system that we know now. The first Windows they were little more than programs that ran on top of a major operating system, MS-DOS.
These archaic systems did not have a wallpaper as such, since the computer science of that time did not allow it. Instead, they used a solid color on which the different windows were opened and the icons of the programs were placed. The colors of these screens were very basic, and the most common are green, gray and blue. It wasn’t until the arrival of Windows 95 that we finally got to see the first wallpapers as we know them today.
Windows 3.x was among the first to include some shapes and frames as a background (shapes that should be placed in the form of a mosaic). Among others, the bricks and Egyptian shapes stood out, which, although rare, were beginning to shape the customization of the operating system.
We can download these funds from this link.
Windows 95 and 98 Backgrounds
These versions of Windows, finally, included the first wallpapers. In addition to including some of the funds of its predecessor, and many others shapes for mosaic (like the famous crow’s feet), this version of Windows introduced, for the first time, two characteristic backgrounds. On the one hand, the picture of the pine, and on the other, the world-famous background of clouds.
Of course, the most iconic background of this stage of the operating system was that of the clouds, a background that even today we can place on our computer. If we still have a computer (or a virtual machine) with this system, we can extract the wallpapers, in BMP format, and use them in our current Windows.
If not, we can also lower the funds from Windows 95 and 98 for free from this website.
2000 and ME: the Pre-XP era
Before the arrival of what was one of Microsoft’s best operating systems, Microsoft released two new versions of its operating system. On the one hand we have Windows 2000, a version based on NT designed especially for business environments, and on the other hand we have Windows ME, one of the biggest failures in the history of the system that is best forgotten.
Windows 2000, being a system for business use, had few funds, but quite professional. Windows ME, on the other hand, included all the Windows 2000 backgrounds, but also had some additions. These funds were taken mainly from Corbis and PhotoDisc, although some photographs taken by the company’s own workers were also included.
We can find all these funds here.
Windows XP: Bliss to Power
Surely all, or almost all, have ever touched this operating system. Released in 2001, and with support until 2014, it has been one of the best Microsoft operating systems, and one of the most loved. The most characteristic wallpaper of this era was the green meadow under the name of Bliss.
Microsoft finally put aside the mosaic backgrounds and bet, above all, on photographs. Of course, some abstract or computer-rendered backgrounds were not lacking either. Curiously, depending on the edition of the OS we had (Home or Pro) we could find a background with the Windows logo in blue or green.
Windows Xp It also had an edition designed for multimedia centers, the Media Center. This edition offered users new wallpapers, including the unknown Energy Bliss. There is also a version, the Starter, launched exclusively in Latin America, Russia and Turkey, which had new funds from those areas.
All the original backgrounds of each of the versions can be downloaded from here.
Windows Vista: a bug, but a very nice one
After XP, Microsoft launched another of the biggest failures in company history: Windows Vista. This operating system was one of the worst performing in the history of Windows, although we cannot deny that it has also been one of the best backgrounds included by default. Some of the funds came from Getty Images, although it also allowed workers to contribute their own photos and had the help of some amateur photographers.
Windows Vista’s default background, an abstract green background with traces of light, is one of the most iconic. However, you also have other great backgrounds to choose from, most of them based on different views (a beach, a lake, a field, etc).
Depending on the edition of the operating system that we chose we could find some extra funds. For example, the Ultimate had some extra funds, as well as the Starter, despite being the most limited, had its own unique funds.
All these funds can be downloaded from the following website.
Windows 7: a new era of light
After the failure of Vista, people feared the next system that Microsoft would launch. Fortunately, these fears were unfounded, and Windows 7 it has been, along with XP, one of the best operating systems released by the company. This system came by default with the iconic blue background with the Windows logo, although in it we could find many other alternatives, such as nature, landscape, architecture and character backgrounds. Among the latter, the 3D robot has been, together with the default background, one of the most representative.
Windows 7 also had some regional backgrounds that, depending on the region of the system, may or may not be present by default. The Spanish version of the system had, for example, 6 of these funds.
We can download these wallpapers from the following link. Also, in the “Beta” versions of Windows 7 (only accessible to subscribers) they had exclusive funds, many of which were eventually scrapped from the final version of the OS. If you want to know us, you can download them here.
Windows 8 and 8.1: back to “bad Windows”
In 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8, an operating system that completely broke everything seen so far, to the point of eliminating the start menu of the operating system. A year later, Microsoft released a revision of it, Windows 8.1, with some improvements and corrections, although insufficient.
With this operating system, the desktop went a bit to the background, the main interface being that horrible “Metro”. For this reason, the wallpapers of this system have been overlooked, despite having some very nice photographs. The default Windows 8 background was a sky blue background with two daisies.
With the arrival of Windows 8.1, Microsoft also changed the default wallpaper to an abstract orange background, and, although it kept some of the backgrounds of its predecessor, others disappeared (among them, the background of daisies).
Along with wallpapers, Windows 8 and 8.1 had several backgrounds for the lock screen for the first time.
From this link we can download the original Windows 8 backgrounds, while from this other we can download Windows 8.1.
Windows 10: we come to today
Windows 10 It was launched in 2015, although it has been receiving new versions every several months with news, corrections and, among other things, background changes. The default background of this operating system is the classic blue background with the Windows logo. In the first editions (until 2018), this background had a dark blue color, while since 2019, the background changed a bit and opted for a much more pleasant light blue.
Windows 10 also has other backgrounds of landscapes and flowers, one of the best known being the woman running on the beach. This operating system also had backgrounds for the lock screen and, thanks to Spotlight, every day we can enjoy a new background.
In addition, some test versions, or builds, released for Insider users had some funding for market research, many of which did not reach the final versions.
We can find the original Windows 10 backgrounds at this link. And the funds of the Technical Preview here.
Windows 11: the future
Windows 11 It arrives as the successor to Windows 10 (even though Microsoft promised that this was going to be the last Windows). The company has opted for a complete facelift for the system, from the desktop to the windows, the start menu and the way it works. Despite being a Windows 10 update, almost everything is new on this system.
As expected, Microsoft wanted to differentiate this new system from its predecessors by using its own wallpapers. Removing some landscapes, the new Windows backgrounds are 3D rendered backgrounds, abstract shapes and figures designed by the company itself. Employee and external images are no longer used.
The default background varies depending on whether we use a light or dark theme. But, in both cases, it is the following (changing the tonality).
We can download all the original Windows 11 backgrounds for free from the following link. Of course, it is likely that, as the system evolves, we will find other new funds that will be added to the customization options of this OS.