You could hardly find a person who never played Solitaire on their Windows PC. The famous card game has been a staple for office distraction since 1990 when Microsoft first put the game in Windows 3.0. However, no famous coder of Microsoft created this world known computer game, rather it was developed by a bored intern.
Meet Wes Cherry
In an interview with Great Big Story, Wes Cherry, the creator of the original Windows Solitaire opens up about his amazing creation out of sheer boredom. Though the internship with Microsoft was “all-encompassing,” he could manage to squeeze some time to work on his pet project. Back in 1988, there wasn’t enough game (actually none) to play with. So, if you wanted to play some, you needed to create them by yourself.
In the digital version of Solitaire, you need to drag and drop cards by suit using a mouse. Once you complete a game successfully, you’ll be rewarded by a cascade of cards.
Microsoft officially included Cherry’s game into Windows to teach its users how to use a mouse. Soon it became a staple of the company’s operating system, though Bill Gates complained that the game was too hard to win. However, the way people welcomed the distraction by wasting countless of hours playing this game, its educational value was quick to dim.
However, Cherry wasn’t as blessed as his game. Since he was the intern in Microsoft, he didn’t receive any compensation for his creation.
At one time I said, if I only got a penny per copy I would be very rich. So far, only 14 people have made good on that. I’m still waiting for the rest of you.
That was bad, but which is worse that Microsoft nixed the best feature he created for the original game: “the boss key.” This is a special button that would pop up a spreadsheet clever office worker slacking. As you don’t have it now, be careful while solitaring as your boss might walk by. Anyways, Cherry’s game proves that boredom could be amazingly creative.