Microsoft’s Solitaire, which taught the world to use a mouse and waste unprecedented amounts of time, is turning 30 today. The game first came along with Windows 3.0, launched in 1990 with great fanfare, and is still played by 35 million people per month in 200 markets and 65 languages.
Windows 3.0 was the first popular version of Windows, having sold 10 million copies. At the time, many folks were used to the text-based DOS on PCs and had never used a mouse. Solitaire was perhaps the first “gamification” app, teaching folks how to drag and drop in a colorful and and highly addictive way. The game (programmed by Microsoft intern Wes Cherry) even had a “boss mode” that let you pop up a fake spreadsheet if your boss came along. That never made the final Windows 3.0 release, however.