The Latest Possible Reboot? Microsoft’s Clippy

Well, Twitter might have just cursed us all (but what else is new?). In a tweet we learned about via The Verge, Microsoft proposed replacing the paperclip emoji in Microsoft Office with Clippy. Yes, that Clippy. But, one caveat: their tweet proposing the reboot must reach over 20,000 likes.

Well, the tweet quickly amassed over 80,000 likes and counting. Now, Microsoft is staying mum about whether or not they will actually move forward with their threat, er, I mean proposal.

A paperclip with eyes on yellow paper, aka Clippy!

Clippy was my nemesis. The animated “assistant” was meant to offer tips and guidance on using Microsoft Office software. However, to many, myself included, it was just an annoying thing that did nothing but distract you from whatever you were trying to write. 

If you’ve never seen Clippy before, count yourself lucky. Imagine sitting down to write a letter, memo, essay, or anything, really. You’re in your flow when suddenly, without being prompted, Clippy would pop up. 

“It looks like you’re writing a letter. Do you need some help with that?”

No, thank you, Clippy. Close assistant and continue. Two minutes later:

“It looks like you’re writing a letter. Do you need some help with that?”

And rinse, repeat, until you want to grab that paper clip and bend it until it breaks. 

In 2007, Clippy was put to rest and sent to that Microsoft toolbox in the sky along with The Genius (an Einstein icon), The Dot (a smiley red ball), The Hoverball (a robot), and Will (Shakespeare, naturally!). Oh yes, there was more than one version of Clippy. Yet they all did nothing.

Some Microsoft employees did briefly resurrect the assistant a few years ago as an animated pack of stickers. In sticker form, Clippy wasn’t too bad. But the “ brand police” were quick to kill the little guy, and you know what? No one missed him, and no one will this time either. Sorry, that’s just facts, Clippy.

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