The genius behind Windows Solitaire wrote it as an intern and now sells fruit for a living

Wes Cherry and Windows Solitaire

Windows Solitaire is indisputably one of the most popular computer games of all time and it turns out the guy who wrote the game was an intern named West Cherry.

Cherry’s name came back into the press on Monday when a Reddit post called “where is he now” popped up on the social platform.

It turns out that Cherry walked away from his tech job and now owns Dragons Head Cider, an apple orchard and apple cider producer located on an island west of Seattle.

After Reddit users flocked to his company’s website, Cherry headed over to the thread and told his story about Windows Solitaire.

Here’s Cherry’s own account of how his famous software came to be:

“I wrote it for Windows 2.1 in my own time while an intern at Microsoft during the summer of 1988. I had played a similar solitaire game on the Mac instead of studying for finals at college and wanted a version for myself on Windows… 

At the time there was an internal “company within a company” called Bogus software. It was really just a server where bunch of guys having fun hacking Windows to learn about the API tossed their games.

A program manager on the Windows team saw it and decided to include it in Windows 3.0. It was made clear that they wouldn’t pay me other than supplying me with an IBM XT to fix some bugs during the school year — I was perfectly fine with it and I am to this day.”

Cherry was also responsible for creating a version of Pipe Dream, another game that was originally included in the Microsoft Entertainment pack. He was paid a few thousand dollars in stock options for that creation.

His work wasn’t without merit as he went on to work for Microsoft after his internship, serving on the company’s Excel team.

Written by Katie Henderson

Katie Henderson

Katie Henderson is the Strategy editor at Business Pundit. She writes articles that help business owners, executives, and employees better understand how to run a business and work as effective employees.