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Microsoft's Solitaire: 25 Years of Wasting Time

Redmond celebrates Microsoft Solitaire's 25th birthday with an employee tournament the same week it welcomes a creative director for HoloLens.
Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare?
Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare?
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If you have ever attempted to get something done on a Windows PC, there's a good chance you are familiar with Solitaire.

The world's most famous detriment to human productivity turns 25 this year. To celebrate the milestone and "the decades of fun it's given us all," Microsoft is holding an internal Solitaire tournament to weed out its top players.

That's right -- employees will battle for the honor of being recognized as one of Microsoft's top Solitaire gamers. They'll even be able to play with co-workers from their PCs.

[Isn't that cool? Read more about great job perks in tech.]

After determining who leads its team, Microsoft will open the tournament to procrastinators around the globe. Anyone with access to the Solitaire Collection (available on Windows and Windows Phone) will able to put those Solitaire skills to the test in early June. 

As with most 25 year-olds, there has been a lot of change to Solitaire since it was introduced in May 1990. Developers built upon the original version to create five more: Spider, Klondike, Pyramid, TriPeaks, and FreeCell. All modes will be included in tournament play.

Solitaire was not included in development of Windows 8, one of the many issues inherent to the failed OS. We'll see its return over the next few months, as Microsoft is building Solitaire into the upcoming Windows 10.

This isn't the only gaming news coming from Redmond this week. Microsoft also announced that Casey Hudson, former game producer at BioWare, is filling the role of creative director at Microsoft Studios. There, he will primarily focus on the creative direction of HoloLens Experiences.

"I was fortunate to try an early prototype of HoloLens before it was announced, and I was blown away by the technology and what it was already capable of," said Hudson in a post on Microsoft's official Xbox blog.

Hudson notes that HoloLens experiences like "Skyping with a friend who can draw on the walls on my environment" and "sculpting an object in 3D modeling software while a hologram of it sits on a tablet next to me" have convinced him of the technology's potential. He'll be working to evolve the HoloLens experience, ranging from apps and games to the OS and hardware.

[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]