Windows Phone 7 Will Not Have Solitaire!

We know that Microsoft is taking great pains to emphasize that Windows Phone 7 is NOT Windows on a phone, but it wasn’t until I learned that Windows Phone 7 will not come with Solitaire that I realized just how far Microsoft is going with breaking that relationship. Microsoft has included Solitaire in Windows ever since it released Windows 3.1 in 1990. My understanding is that the card game was included as a way for users to practice using a mouse. Back in 1990 the mouse was still a new computer accessory that most people were not familiar with using.

Windows CE, released in 1996, not only shared the Windows 95 user interface, but it also had many of the same set of applications, including Solitaire. In this case playing Solitaire enabled users to practice using a stylus to tap and drag items around the screen. I suspect it was also included because by 1996 Solitaire became considered as much of Windows as the start menu. Over the years I have passed a fair amount of time playing Solitaire, and my wife had the habit of playing Solitaire at the end of the work day until she won as a means of winding down before heading home.

I’ve grown so used to having Solitaire on my phones that when I first got my T-Mobile G1 it was the first application I looked for in the Android Market. We have an old Pocket PC on our bed stand just so my wife can occasionally play Solitaire before falling asleep. (Ironically with me being the big Pocket PC guy, my wife’s only use ever for Pocket PCs is to play Solitaire.) I am confident that Microsoft or someone else will provide a Solitaire game in the Windows Phone Marketplace, but as you can probably guess by now, I think Microsoft’s not including it in Windows Phone 7 is a surprise even it won’t be a big deal to install the game on a phone.