Technology A quick look back at one of the most popular games of all time, Microsoft Solitaire


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Apr 24, 2016
A little over 24 hours ago, Microsoft finally closed the deal to purchase Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. The acquisition gives Microsoft access to some hugely popular game franchises, including Diablo, Overwatch, and of course Call of Duty.

However, the truth is that back in 1990, Microsoft, perhaps inadvertently, created one of the most well-known and most-played games of all time: Microsoft Solitaire. It's a game franchise that continues to this date, in a somewhat different format.

We can thank a person named Wes Cherry for the creation of Microsoft Solitaire. He was an intern at the company back in 1988. According to Business Insider, he wrote a version of the Solitaire card game for Windows 2.1 in his spare time, because he enjoyed a similar game made for the Apple Macintosh. He put the game on a server at Microsoft, and a company program manager saw it. He decided to add it to the release of Windows 3.0 in 1990.

In a chat with Great Big Story a few years ago, Cherry said that the official reason for adding his Microsoft Solitaire program in Windows 3.0 was to help people learn how to use the mouse with the OS. However, the real reason was that Microsoft just wanted to give people who had Windows 3.0 something to do. He also said that Microsoft co-founder and then CEO Bill Gates played the game before the launch of Windows 3.0 and his only complaint was that it was too hard to win.


Jonny Quest

Level 13
Mar 2, 2023
@1:37 "The Boss Key", I suppose as long as the boss didn't look at the spread sheet and realize, "we don't use spread sheets", or what information was on it, you were okay :)

"The game originally contained a ‘boss key’ which made it appear to the boss and co-workers that you were working when you might actually be playing games or using the internet for non work-related tasks. Microsoft later made Cherry remove the ‘feature‘ from the game".
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