While the news that Microsoft is to phase out Internet Explorer in favour of Project Spartan might suggest otherwise, there’s plenty of reason to believe that the company is undergoing a swell of nostalgia ahead of the release of Windows 10.
The April Fools’ Day release of MS-DOS Mobile started the month with a humorous look back into the history of the OS, and it’ll be followed up by the reintroduction of Solitaire to Windows. A preview build of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection will be rolling out with build 10061 for users testing out the pre-release version of Windows 10.
Solitaire was first included as part of the OS alongside Windows 3.0 in 1990. While it has gone on to account for countless lost hours in the workplace, its original purpose was actually quite practical. The game was intended to familiarize new users with using the mouse, and with dragging and dropping in particular.
It may not have the bells and whistles of modern video games, but for many, Solitaire is the definitive Windows gaming experience. The idea of playing a quick game while you’re meant to be working has become ingrained in popular culture — NBC even commissioned a themed version of the game in 2006 to reference a running joke about Solitaire in The Office.
It remains to be seen just how this new version will differ from the classic Solitaire we saw iterated upon until its last bundled appearance in Windows 7. A new lick of paint is very likely, but will Microsoft introduce other developments from the world of video games? Could online play turn the solitary game into a social experience? Might virtual reality allow players to experience the most immersive Solitaire experience there is outside of picking up a deck of cards? For the moment, we’ll just have to wait and see.