Microsoft Monopoly

In Memoriam: Mission Impossible BBS, Nottingham, U.K..

What would "Monopoly" have turned out like if Microsoft had written it?

The old "MONOPOLY on DOS" (which didn't have a board, but instead had a typewritten list of properties, listed in the order that they were added to the game) has been replaced with "MONOPOLY on WINDOWS NT" — the first version of the game that supported more than one player.

"Go to Jail", previously called "Unrecoverable Game Error" in "MONOPOLY on WINDOWS" version 3.1, is now called "Go To Jail" once more, with the addition of the "Go To Jail Wizard", whereby players are forced to lose nine consecutive turns, each turn playing a Community Chest card which is blank except for a [Next→] symbol in the bottom right hand corner.

"MONOPOLY on WINDOWS 2000" fixed the bug whereby if you went directly to jail you would have to re-install the game, and now gives you the option to restart the game, or to play on and go directly to jail the next time that you start a new game. The number of situations where players have to re-install the game during play is now "less than 1000".

The packs of totally blank Community Chest cards, first noticed in release 1.0, still have not been fixed. Microsoft has posted a KnowledgeBase article describing this, stating that it is "by design".

For some peculiar reason, the playing instructions do not refer to the "Electricity Company" or "Water Works" squares at all. Players are expected to work out for themselves how these operate.

The dog, shoe, and top hat playing pieces are only available as third-party additions. Microsoft also provides the Microsoft Board Games Plus!Pack, which, when installed, subtly alters the rules and replaces the motor car piece with a Sinclair C5 painted in bright rainbow colours.

Each time that you open the box it offers to remove your chessboard. The documentation refers to this as the "upgrade legacy system feature".

"MONOPOLY", "WINDOWS", "98", and "on" are registered trademarks of Microsoft corporation.

The rules of Microsoft Monopoly

  1. Any attempt to use playing pieces other than those supplied will cause the board to disintegrate.

  2. Any attempt to purchase a property will result in a law-suit from Microsoft.

  3. All the money belongs to the Banker.

  4. Although at present play proceeds in a clockwise fashion around the board, Microsoft does not guarantee that this will be true in all future versions of Monopoly.

  5. Only Microsoft employees may use the secret 7 on the dice.

© Copyright 1993-2006 Jonathan de Boyne Pollard, Stuart Painting, Colin Haynes, Christy Gemmell, and a whole lot of others. "Moral" rights asserted.