Hearts (also known as The Microsoft Hearts Network, Microsoft Hearts, and Classic Hearts) is a digital card game developed and released by Microsoft for Windows PCs in 1992, bundled with most installations of the Microsoft Windows operating systems from Windows for Workgroups 3.1 to Windows 7.
Based on "Black Lady" variant of the card game of the same name, Hearts is a four-player game (commonly played with one human player and three AI opponents) where, in each round, players shed their hand (one card at a time) and attempt to avoid receiving penalty cards (the titular "hearts", as well as the high-penalty Queen of Spades). The first player to reach 100 points ends the game, with the lowest scoring player winning.
It was originally released with certain revisions of the Windows 3.1 line of operating systems (named "Windows for Workgroups"), where it showcases the OS's networking technology and allows multiple players to play simultaneously on the same network. Like other card games for Windows, it uses the standard Microsoft card image library. It was then included in most subsequent Windows releases (along with other games, namely Solitaire, Minesweeper, and FreeCell), where it gained in popularity. Later versions of the game removed the networking function entirely.
The version of the game included in both Windows Vista and Windows 7, developed in part by Oberon Games, is known for its enhanced graphical updates, persistent game statistics, and the added ability to save and restore in-progress games. It also features new themes for both the card deck (Classic, Hearts, Seasons, and Large Print) and the background (Classic Felt, Red Hearts, Green Nature, Red Felt, and Brown Felt) and supports the Windows Media Center service for use with TVs.
Like other pack-in games that are kept when upgrading the Windows operating system, the base installation of Hearts is removed completely once an April 2018 update of Windows 10 is applied.