Microsoft's Solitaire game turns 30 today. Microsoft is celebrating the occasion with a world record attempt for most Microsoft Solitaire games that were completed in one day. According to Microsoft, 35 million people still play solitaire every month, with over 100 million hands playing around the world every day.
Microsoft Solitaire was originally included as part of Windows 3.0 in 1990 to teach users how to use a mouse. By grasping and storing virtual cards, the basics of drag-and-drop in Windows were imparted, which we still use in many parts of the operating system.
Microsoft Solitaire, originally known as Windows Solitaire, is one of the most played games in the world because it has been available in every version of Windows for more than two decades. This means that it was delivered on more than a billion PCs and was not an integral part of Windows until the release of Windows 8 in 2012.
Microsoft intern Wes Cherry initially programmed the game, and Pixel Art and Mac GUI pioneer Susan Kare designed the original card game. Cherry first programmed a "boss mode" in Windows Solitaire with a fake table that is supposed to fool bosses and colleagues. Microsoft has instructed Cherry to remove Boss mode from the game before its release. If it had stayed, it could have saved a man from being fired by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Thanks to its wide appeal, Solitaire is still actively played by millions of people around the world. It was even inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame last year. Microsoft has localized the game in 65 languages and it has been played in more than 200 markets. Microsoft Solitaire only received its first major update in 2012, which coincided with the removal of Windows 8 in a standalone app. The new app included five new game modes, daily challenges, competitive events, Xbox Live integration and even the ability to choose a level of difficulty.
This standalone app also caused Solitaire to return as part of Windows 10 in 2015. It is now also available for all major operating system platforms. If you want to help Microsoft reach its record attempt, Microsoft Solitaire is now available for Windows, iOS, Android, and even the web.