Why Pinball disappeared as a default Windows app

first_imgIf you were a Windows user before the days of Windows Vista, 7, and 8, you may remember that Microsoft shipped its operating system with an included pinball game. That game was called 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet to give it its full title, but more commonly got referred to as 3D Pinball or just Pinball.The last time Pinball was included with the OS was when Microsoft shipped Windows XP. When Vista arrived, it disappeared, and has never been included again. But why?Raymond Chen, software engineer and well-known Microsoft blogger, has cleared up the mystery. It all comes down to source code that was difficult read and devoid of any comments.Chen was tasked with porting millions of lines of code over from Windows XP 32-bit so Microsoft could ship Windows XP 64-bit. That code included Pinball, but it had a collision bug that saw the ball drop through the launcher and off the table, rendering the game unplayable. The game was developed by Maxis several years earlier (it also shipped with Windows 95), not Microsoft, but Chen had to try and fix the bug.In the end, Chen and another Microsoft programmer couldn’t figure out how the game worked just from looking through the source code. And with no help being offered from comments or documentation, they had to give up and carry on porting other things due to time constraints.Ultimately that’s why Pinball got dropped after Windows XP, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still play it! Wondering how to play 3D Pinball now? Apparently if you have Pinball on an old machine you can copy the Pinball folder from the C:\Program Files\Windows NT directory and get it to run on all versions of Windows since Windows XP. It even runs through Wine if you prefer to use Linux.via The Old New Thinglast_img read more