The True Purpose of Microsoft Solitaire, Minesweeper, and FreeCell

I bet you have definitely played games like Solitaire, Minesweeper, Hearts or FreeCell on your Windows PC with the only intention of having fun. You might have also thought that these games are available on your PC by default to help you spend your leisure time by doing something that makes you happy. Well, that could one of the reason but not the only reason. The developers at Windows came up with these games to make you learn something by playing these games on your computer and they have achieved tremendous success in what they intend to. This game probably has caused more loss to the companies than due to the shortage of coffee world over. You would agree, quitting these games were really hard to do and you always went to play one another game which in turn kept on increasing.

As I said earlier these games were not developed with a sole purpose of entertaining you, it was designed to teach you something valuable when you spent time on these games. So let’s have a look at what were the intentions behind developing each of the four games:

Solitaire is the oldest of the four games to be introduced by Microsoft. The game first made an appearance in 1990 in Windows 3.0. As we all know the game solitaire has been in existence from the 17th century but the digital version of the game made sure that we would not require keeping a physical deck near us to play the game anymore. The developers designed the game so beautifully that it has almost replaced the physical deck all over the world.

The intention was not to replace the physical deck though. The intention was to teach the users mouse-fluency by stealth. The intention was to teach the users how to drag and drop, without making them realize what they were doing. The fact that users worldwide have been dragging and dropping quite easily confirms the fact that they were successful in their attempt.

Minesweeper, which is also called as the Cube game was in existence since 60’s and 70’s. The digital version of this game came in 1992 with the update of Windows 3.1. The game was not developed to show that the operating system could easily load any game but to make right and left clicking a second nature of the windows users. The developers also wanted to increase speed and precision of the users in mouse movement.

Windows for Workgroups 3.1 came up with a new game called Hearts in 1992. This game was the first of its kind game which was a network-ready version of windows. It used Microsoft NetDDE technology which was introduced with the game to communicate with other hearts client on a local network. Again the intention of the game was to get people to know about the networking capabilities of their new operating system.

Likewise, FreeCell was also introduced to test the 32-bit thunking layer of the system which had been developed as part of Windows 32s. if the thunking layer was not properly installed the game wouldn’t run. So, FreeCell which was just another game for you was actually a tool for testing the software systems.

I am damn sure you did not think about these games this way earlier. Now, that you know the reason behind developing these games I feel you will have much more interest in playing the game and also the curiosity to find out what would have been the intention behind developing other games. Do share this article with others to make them understand the reason behind developing of some of the world’s incredibly famous games.


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