Microsoft is celebrating its awesome solitaire game with two competitions. The first will be an internal competition, for Microsoft employees. This will establish a leader board. The next competition will be open to the entire world and will start in early June.
“First, an internal competition among Microsoft employees kicks off today to determine who leads the leaderboards here. Then, in early June, the same challenges used in the tournament will be released in the game for the world to play.”
Microsoft has included Solitaire as part of the Windows operating system since Windows 3.0, starting from 1990. The game was developed in 1989 by then intern Wes Cherry, who famously received no royalties from his work. The card deck itself was designed by Macintosh pioneer Susan Kare.
Microsoft intended Windows Solitaire “to soothe people intimidated by the operating system”, and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards.
Lost business productivity by employees playing Solitaire has become a common concern since it became standard on Microsoft Windows. In 2006, a New York City worker was fired after Mayor Michael Bloomberg saw the Solitaire game on the man’s office computer.
About Microsoft Solitaire
Since Windows 3.0, Solitaire allows selecting the design on the back of the cards, choosing whether one or three cards are drawn from the deck at a time, switching between Vegas scoring and Standard scoring, and disabling scoring entirely. The game can also be timed for additional points if the game is won. There is a cheat that will allow drawing one card at a time when ‘draw three’ is set.
In Windows 2000 and later versions of Solitaire, right-clicking on open spaces automatically moves available cards to the four foundations in the upper right-hand corner, as in Freecell. If the mouse pointer is on a card, a right click will move only that card to its foundation, provided that it is a possible move. Left double-clicking will also move the card to the proper foundation.
Until the Windows XP version, the card backs were the original works designed by Susan Kare, and many were animated.
The Windows Vista and Windows 7 versions of the game save statistics on the number and percentage of games won, and allow users to save incomplete games and to choose cards with different face styles.
Solitaire is not included in the Windows 8 operating system. However, the Microsoft Solitaire Collection can be downloaded for free from the Windows Store, which includes original Solitaire (Klondike) plus 4 other solitaire games.
The Microsoft Solitaire Collection will be included in Windows 10.