Microsoft brings Minesweeper, Solitaire and Wordament to Teams

Satya Nadella, chairman and chief government officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks throughout the digital Meta Connect occasion in New York on Oct. 11, 2022.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Next time you are bored on a Microsoft Teams name, attempt becoming a member of your colleagues in a recreation of Minesweeper.

Microsoft on Wednesday added a set of informal video games to its Teams chat and calling service as the corporate tries to get folks to spend extra time within the app. Solitaire may also be out there, together with a brand new recreation known as IceBreakers created by Microsoft to assist teammates get to know one another.

Microsoft is attempting to forged Teams because the premier vacation spot for work, increasing on a product that exploded throughout the pandemic, when staff had been compelled to collect and collaborate nearly. Teams is now out there on hottest units, together with desktop software program builders Adobe and SAP have developed Teams integrations.

By including video games, Microsoft is attempting to sprinkle some enjoyable into the equation and maybe even strengthen bonds at work. Employees can come collectively remotely to win at a recreation of Minesweeper, a puzzle recreation with clickable squares that features some digital mines that have to be prevented. People can even simply watch the leisure.

“Enhanced spectator mode permits everybody, whether or not actively enjoying that spherical or not, to comply with the motion and interact with the gamers on the display,” Nicole Herskowitz, a Microsoft company vp, wrote in a weblog put up. She likened it to the expertise of watching “Jeopardy.”

Games are a well-recognized product for Microsoft. In addition to the whole Xbox franchise, which launched in 2001, the corporate has a number of how to play informal video games. The traditional Klondike recreation, for instance, is a part of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection app for Windows.

In January, Microsoft introduced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard, which publishes first-person shooter video games within the Call of Duty franchise, for shut to $69 billion. The deal should first clear regulatory hurdles.

Minesweeper and Solitaire each debuted with Microsoft in 1990. Solitaire, a variation of a card recreation from the 1800s, was a utility designed to assist folks get snug with Windows and be taught to use a mouse, but it surely wound up changing into the most well-liked recreation on the working system, The Washington Post reported in 1994. The newspaper stated Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and first CEO, had such a critical habit to Minesweeper that he took the sport off his PC.

The massive play now for Microsoft is getting executives to renew and develop their subscriptions to Office 365, a essential bundle that the corporate is at present rebranding as Microsoft 365. Office represented 23% of Microsoft’s whole income within the third quarter.

Microsoft is even positioning video games as a possible method to enhance cognitive improvement. In an e mail to CNBC, a Microsoft spokesperson cited a examine of over 2,000 kids suggesting that those that performed video video games noticed features in working reminiscence in contrast to those that didn’t play.

As a part of its new launch, Microsoft can also be bringing a mobile-friendly recreation known as Wordament to Teams. The Boggle-like recreation appeared in 2011 after Microsoft requested staff to construct Windows Phone apps of their free time, main two staff to devise the sport as one thing for them to play with their wives. The recreation, which challenges gamers to spot phrases amongst a grid of letters, has racked up 1 million downloads on Android.

The Microsoft spokesperson stated the IceBreakers thought was notably in style.

“As we examined totally different recreation concepts throughout Microsoft, this was one of the requested recreation sorts, and we listened to the suggestions to create this recreation,” the spokesperson wrote within the e mail.

Minesweeper, Solitaire, Wordament and IceBreakers are within the Games for Work app for Teams, which is out there now for Microsoft enterprise and training clients. Administrators have to allow entry to apps in Teams for customers to play the video games. The firm will pull extra video games from companions into Teams in 2023, Herskowitz wrote.

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