The Most Strangely Important Controversial Office Program

In the modern office landscape, computer literacy is typically a job requirement, as the vast majority of tasks an employee is expected to do are prohibitively difficult and increasingly impossible without the benefit of information technology.

Whilst in the modern day the solutions to technical issues and user confusion can be found with IT services in Colchester, in the early days of office computers this was far from the case.

A good example of this is that whilst Microsoft Windows 1.01 was first released to the public in 1985, it took until 1990 and the release of Windows 3.0 for the operating system and the concept of the graphical user interface to take off in the office.

Before this, Apple’s Lisa computer was an infamous commercial failure, and whilst the Apple Macintosh 128k was successful, this success was primarily found in the education market. Other popular GUI systems were purely designed for home use such as the Atari TOS and AmigaOS.

However, in a world where people either relied on typewriters or text-based operating systems, the concept of intuitively clicking on icons on a screen was unusual and quite unnerving for many early users, as was using a new computer peripheral known as a “mouse”.

Microsoft had come up with a solution that was revolutionary and controversial at the same time, primarily because it was not necessarily a computer application.

An Unusual Teaching Tool

Designed by intern Wes Cherry during the summer of 1988, Microsoft’s plan to train millions of office workers to use Windows was a virtual adaptation of a card game called Klondike.

Microsoft Solitaire was meant to be a carrot used to help users get used to the operating system via the use of a relatively simple game familiar to many workers. By dragging and dropping the cards and clicking the deck to draw more cards, users grew more familiar with the system.

The same principle was used with the later release Minesweeper, which relied on the use of both the left and right mouse buttons, but both games would prove to have both strong supporters and significant critics within the business world.

Productivity Vacuum

Solitaire was until its removal with Windows 10, one of the single most used applications on Microsoft Windows, but whilst it did improve worker dexterity with the new graphical user interface, the consequence was that was especially addicting.

Many entire industries had reports that significant working hours were lost by employees playing a few rounds of one of the games that came with the computer.

This included a lot of employees at Microsoft itself including, most infamously, Bill Gates, who became so fixated with Minesweeper that he had to get the program removed from his computer to do any work, instead using then-president Mike Hallman’s computer to play.

Solitaire ultimately served its purpose very quickly, getting millions of users accustomed to what became the standard way of interacting with a computer for the vast majority of businesses.

Most business editions of Windows stopped including the game and on Windows 10, it is an additional download with a paid component, but that does not stop the important impact it had on getting offices ready for what was then the future and is now our present.

windows update

Let’s have a chat

Whether you want a complete shake-up of your current IT services or an answer to simple question, SYS3 are always happy to help. Contact us today for a free, no obligation chat about your requirements.

  • Simplify your IT
  • Reduce your spending
  • Increase reliability
  • Enjoy no-contract, unrivalled support across Essex and Suffolk

We know moving IT services can be a daunting task but we promise it’s much easier than you think. When you’re ready to talk, we’re here, happy to help

0345 313 1919
[email protected]

Get in touch

    Our Other Services

    Backing up is VITAL!

    Backing up should be everyones top priority. All too often we see businesses decide to start backing up the wrong side of a costly hard drive disaster or data breach.

    With viruses and malware now capable of causing so much, often irreversible, damage, a substantial backup is imperative. If you’re infected with ransomware, a recent backup often the only way to get you back up and running.

    Why offsite backup and not a removable hard drive?

    Preferably both! But never just a hard drive. Why? Hard drives can fail. It’s as simple as that. Ransomware infections can also creep onto hard drives if they’re left plugged into an infected machine. 

    ​SYS3 use the most reliable and intelligent backup solutions on the market to ensure that our customers’ data is kept secure.

    Why buy your hardware from SYS3?

    Years ago, SYS3 started out by building and supplying custom computer hardware. We know our stuff.

    We keep up with the latest in technology so we are able to provide our customers with the best possible equipment without breaking the bank. Whether you need a new server, laptop, printer or network switch, we’ll always provide you with a variety of options and recommendations to suit your business needs.

    The more advanced technology becomes, the more advanced the bad guys become. Gone are the days when attackers were easy to spot in a badly worded email.

    ​Did you know you can get an infection just by hovering your mouse over a dodgy website banner? Worse? Traditional antivirus products cannot protect you against everything.

    ​Human error is still largely responsible for infections and viruses but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the best protection possible to safeguard your employees and ultimately, your business.

    ​Partnered with Heimdal, SYS3 provide market-leading protection that is proactive, not reactive like traditional antivirus.


    Spam email makes up 70% of ALL email traffic across the world and social engineering means scammers can directly target key employees. Is your job title on social media?

    Over 60% of breaches are caused by human error. Are you confident that your staff are fully trained to spot email-borne threats and avoid falling victim?

    How SYS3 can help

    Just one click has the potential to grind your entire business to a halt and generate a costly bill to put right. What makes things worse is that email viruses are now incredibly clever, highly convincing, and can be very difficult to spot.

    ​Our priority is to make sure our customers are supported and protected as much as possible. 99% of our customers have adopted our mail filtering service and it comes highly recommended. It’s the first line of defence and a vital tool.


    Proud To Be Working With