Windows Wallpaper Is Latest Ugly Sweater Design
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 01 December 2023

Microsoft has made the classic Windows XP wallpaper the design for its shot at this year's ugly sweater options. If, like me, you're wondering how you managed to successfully avoid this as a concept, read on.

It's not really clear when "Ugly Sweater" started as a trend, with various culprits suggested on social media, ranging from Bill Cosby to Chevy Chase, though some people say it started with so-called Jingle Bells sweaters back in the 1950s, which weren't meant to be ugly, just festive.  


Microsoft has been inflicting ugly sweaters on innocent developers since 2018, when it started with a fairly horrendous example based on the original Windows 95 logo. If you managed to get hold of this, it's probably worth hanging on to as only 100 were made, and given to select Microsoft employees and influencers. Since then, the designs have been another Windows XP number in 2019, Microsoft Paint in 2020, Minesweeper in 2021, and the truly scary Clippy in 2022 which you can see here.

This year's option is the 'Bliss' backdrop that burned itself into so many screens back in the days of XP.


The green hill in front of a blue sky with white clouds is a photograph of Sonoma County, California, and we don't think it's that ugly. Actually, it seems that other people agree, as the design has already sold out in most sizes.

If you're still keen, it costs $70 in the Xbox Gear Shop, but at the time of writing, all sizes are sold out. Perhaps Microsoft's "Sweaterathon event" that was hosted on Instagram and TikTok on November 28 didn't irritate other people as much as it did us. Sweaterathon. Seriously??

It seems there are more people willing to overheat than we'd imagined, though. There's even an Ugly Christmas Sweaters card game where  "players compete against each other through trick-taking and drafting to collect and assemble sweater pieces" with the aim of 'building' sweaters.

And according to the charity Save the Children, this year's Christmas Jumper Day will take place on Thursday 7 December 2023. The Christmas Jumper Day website says "It’s super-simple to take part on Christmas Jumper Day. All you have to do is sign up, put the date in your diary and use our awesome resources to make the day the most fun day of the whole year."

Personally (bah humbug) I'll be astounded if wearing a sweater and having to pretend to admire other people's equally hideous garments counts as the most fun day of the year, but I may be missing something.


More Information

Save The Children Christmas Jumper Day

Ugly Sweater On XBox Gear

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Last Updated ( Friday, 01 December 2023 )