Codex Leicester is essentially a manuscript, including Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific work, not only the world’s second most expensive manuscript, but also attracted the attention of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates is now one of the world’s richest men, with figures estimated in January 2020 at more than $108 billion.
But back in 1994, Bill Gates was clearly not as rich as he is today, and he still owns the manuscript on November 11, 1994, at Christie’s in New York for $30.8 million, $2,500. Needless to say, such acquisitions usually go straight into the company’s collection, but Gates had a different idea, which ultimately gave Windows os-to-use users a glimpse into the manuscript.
The work the Microsoft founder did after purchasing the manuscript was to scan every page to create a digital image file that could be opened on the computer. In other words, you only need a digital version of Gates to read Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific writings. And because Bill Gates wanted everyone to have them, he made a very bold decision to include them in Windows as wallpaper and screensavers.
As a result, Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscript turned out to be a collection of wallpaper and screensavers available to any Windows user. The package is bundled with Microsoft Plus. For Windows 95, as part of the theme that provides a customized version of the desktop. Because of its popularity, Bill Gates decided to take all of the content to new heights, so the wallpaper and screen savers eventually moved into Windows 98 and Windows ME.
However, Microsoft’s founder did not stop there. Because Codex was so popular, he decided to create a digital version, which was released in 1997 as a separate CD-ROM version. The collection, called Leonardo da Vinci, was provided by Corbis, founded by Bill Gates in 1989.
At the same time, things have changed a lot, not only is the code no longer used in modern Windows, but features like the screen saver itself are now rarely used. For example, in Windows 10, Microsoft never talks about screen savers, but instead brags about the lock screen feature, a more modern feature whose background can be automatically changed by windowspotlight, a Bing-driven wallpaper download engine. Finding the original digital version of Codex from Microsoft 25 years ago is also difficult, unless you have this CD-ROM at home. If you do, you’re lucky because these things are already collectibles.