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Solitaire Was Created By A Bored Intern

13 May, 2017
Solitaire Was Created By A Bored Intern

Wonder can lead to wisdom. And the mother of wonder is boredom. At least that is how it appears in the case of Wes Cherry.

One could have never guessed that Solitaire, one of the most prominent features of Windows, was the product of bored hours.

Wes Cherry was an intern in Microsoft back in 1988 when he created his entertaining brainchild, that became so popular internally that it was introduced as a standard feature in Windows 3.0 in 1990.

The official purpose of Solitaire was to teach the people how to use the mouse properly. However, humankind surpassed the era where people needed to be taught how to use the mouse, and yet, Solitaire remains one of the most popular features on Windows.

And why not? It’s one of the easiest ways to waste your time! Ironically, Bill Gates thought that the game was “too hard to win”.

Even in as busy an institution as Microsoft, interns do have hours where they just twiddle their thumbs. In an interview with Great Big Story, Cherry said, “I came up with the idea to write Solitaire for Windows out of boredom, really”. He went on, “There weren’t many games at the time, so we had to make them.”

There was another feature that Cherry had added in the game but was later removed – a boss key. Intended as the saving grace for interns, a fake spreadsheet would pop up on-screen through a simple shortcut.
So you might not be working but then you will not get caught. Obviously, Microsoft chose to discard the feature.

So, Solitaire whose collection reached 100 million unique users in 2016 must have yielded quite a monetary benefit to its creator, right?

Well, nope.

Cherry was just an intern then so he did not get a single cent. He jokingly added, “One time I said that if I only got a penny for copy, I would be very rich. So far only 14 people made good on that, I’m still waiting for the rest of you”.

The creator is immersed in his life as a cidery owner while you are trying to get over the fact that he was not paid. Seriously, guys!