- 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.
First released as part of Windows 3.0 in 1990, Microsoft Solitaire has truly become one of the most popular games ever released, and a version of it is still available for many platforms.