Back then, Bill Gates was so obsessed with high Minesweeper scores that Microsoft staff had to conjure up one he couldn’t beat

Journalist Kyle Orland writes the entire book on the history of Sapper (opens in a new tab), which I suspect is a much more fascinating topic than it might seem at first glance. Minesweeper is one of those games that now seem ubiquitous, always available, no matter what computer you use, although its roots go back to Microsoft in the early 90s, specifically the Windows 3.0 era. As part of a book promotion campaign Ars Technica has a chapter on those early days (opens in a new tab)and one particularly big fan of the game.

Minesweeper first appeared on Microsoft’s internal network in 1990, where various employees quickly (understandably) became addicted. “Needless to say, this was very well-tested Microsoft software,” said Charles Fitzgerald, product manager for the first Windows Entertainment Pack that included Minesweeper.

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