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Microsoft Solitaire is 30 today

And attempting to set a record to celebrate.

Microsoft Solitaire, probably the game responsible for more lost productivity than any other, is celebrating its thirtieth birthday today.

Microsoft's digital adaptation launched as part of Windows 3.0 on 22nd May 1990, and its inclusion was intended, in part, to provide a familiar touchstone in what was, for many at the time, an unfamiliar and potentially intimidating computer environment.

It was created by bored intern Wes Cherry, who joined the company in 1988. However, despite the game's continued ubiquity - Microsoft claims half a billion people have played in the past decade, with 100 million hands played daily around the globe - Cherry told Great Big Story in 2017 that he "was not paid a single cent" for his programming efforts.

Microsoft Solitaire's beige beginnings.

Since then, the game has expanded to become Microsoft Solitaire Collection, gathering together Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks, alongside the original Klondike, and has spread its wings to mobile too. Here, it's caught up with the modern age to include pointless currencies, XP, ads, micro-transactions, even a monthly subscription option. Yay, progress!

To celebrate Microsoft Solitaire's 30th birthday, Microsoft is attempting to set a record for the most games completed in one day. What happens if the company achieves its ambitions? I HAVE NO IDEA. Regardless, if you want to take part, Solitaire is free on Windows, iOS, and Android, and, really, who can resist the hypnotic allure of gaming's greatest victory screen?

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Matt Wales avatar

Matt Wales


Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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