Print 31 comment(s) - last by marraco.. on May 4 at 8:28 PM


  (Source: Getty Images)
Clippy appears in its own game, which aims to help users navigate Microsoft Office

The annoying -- I mean, animated -- paper clip that used to appear in Microsoft Office as an assistant in the late 90's to early 2000's is making a comeback after countless customers and even Microsoft employees contributed to its demise. 

The Office Assistant was a tool that helped Microsoft Office users navigate the associated software by way of an animated character. In the English Windows version, the default character was a paperclip named Clippit, or Clippy for short. Clippy was designed by Kevan J. Atteberry, and was initially featured in Office 97. 

As users worked in Microsoft Office programs like Word and Excel, Clippy would randomly pop out of the corner making eerily cheerful and obvious statements, and then offering its help. For instance, a user would type the word "Dear" in Microsoft Word, and Clippy would say, "It looks like you're writing a letter. Would you like help?"

This did not go over well with many Microsoft users, and even Microsoft employees. Clippy was described as an annoying feature that hindered rather than helped document development. Smithsonian even named Clippy "one of the worst software design blunders in the annals of computing."

As a result of such criticism, Bill Gates retired Clippy as a default feature in 2001. Microsoft employees even made an ad campaign saying they put him out of work. By 2007, Clippy was eliminated from Microsoft Office entirely. 

Now, Clippy dares to show its face around Microsoft Office again in a new game. The game is called "Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy's Second Chance," and it is designed to help users learn how to navigate Microsoft Office. 

The good news is that Clippy is sticking exclusively to the game, and will not appear out of the corner of Microsoft Office programs. 

"Yes, we turned Office into a game!" said Microsoft in its description of the new game. "If you're going to spend time immersed in the inner workings of Office, by golly it should be fun. In Ribbon Hero 2, you'll hop on board Clippy's stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, you get to explore a new game board with challenges you must complete to get to the next level."

Criticism is already beginning to circulate, but not so much about the game itself. Rather, Microsoft's language in describing the new game has drawn such attention. 

"Here is a question I wish I could answer," said James Fallows from The Atlantic. "Is this Microsoft tone genuinely corny-earnest, reflecting the kind of middle school pep rally sensibility that you can only imagine Apple hipsters sneering and snickering at (making you want to punch the hipsters) and Google engineers looking at in amazement? Or is it triple-backflip hipsterism itself, an Onionesque by-golly mockery of corniness? I suppose this is one of the enduring mysteries of life."

"Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy's Second Chance" can be downloaded for free here.

Comments     Threshold

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By Marlonsm on 5/2/2011 10:44:38 AM , Rating: 5
"It seems you were trying to get some work done. Would you like to play a game?"

RE: Clippy:
By GulWestfale on 5/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: Clippy:
By B3an on 5/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: Clippy:
By Smilin on 5/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: Clippy:
By aegisofrime on 5/2/2011 12:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
Look, if it wasn't Bin Laden, they won't have said so. If Bin Laden was still alive, all he would have to do would be to release another videotape saying, "Haha I'm still alive muahaha!" and it would be a freaking huge embarrassment to the US Government.

RE: Clippy:
By GulWestfale on 5/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: Clippy:
By retrospooty on 5/2/2011 1:06:38 PM , Rating: 1
"i would have preferred a live capture"

There is no way they could have done that... If he were imprisoned, it would sparc every Al Queda and Al Queda wannabe to start suicide bombings demanding his release. It would be a terrrorist rally cry, inciting violence like never before. They had to kill him, and I wouldnt be at all surprised if that was the order. - Good job by the Seals, and the descision makers behind them.

RE: Clippy:
By torpor on 5/2/2011 3:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
Besides, those dipsh**s in the admin would read him Miranda rights and try to stage a "trial" somewhere in the lower 57.

You know it's true - this is the only way it should have ended. A JDAM isn't good enough for him - the only cure for bin Laden is a nickel's worth of lead fired by a trained SEAL.

(trained SEAL being an example of massive irony, not disrepect - these men have huge training...)

RE: Clippy:
By retrospooty on 5/2/2011 7:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
"Besides, those dipsh**s in the admin would read him Miranda rights and try to stage a "trial""

You mean the dipsh**s that were watching this house for months and once confirmation came last week ordered the raid that got the job done? I am not sure what you mean by dipshits. This was a job well done.

RE: Clippy:
By Iaiken on 5/2/2011 11:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
The only pictures currently circulating are uncreative photochops.

It's been confirmed using DNA from his immediate family, but there are always going to be people who think it's some grand conspiracy.

RE: Clippy:
By ApfDaMan on 5/2/2011 11:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
i could do a better job in MS paint.

RE: Clippy:
By joedon3 on 5/2/2011 12:11:51 PM , Rating: 3
apparently you don't follow the news. They did extensive testing, biometric scans, and now DNA to confirm his identity. They also took lots of pictures and videos. I'm sure the military's priority wasn't to post them on youtube....

RE: Clippy:
By kleinma on 5/2/2011 1:17:47 PM , Rating: 1
they are trying to avoid a muslim shit storm. I think they are handling it very well. We aren't animals like he was. We don't need to parade his dead body in the streets and post pictures to flood the internet. We are taking the high road here, and I think it shows great tact.

RE: Clippy:
By jhb116 on 5/3/2011 9:44:43 PM , Rating: 1
A - did you get the news - he was killed at the compound during the shootout with the his security force - or so the story goes

B - the burial was less than a day to show respect for his religion - again as reported from internet/news sources.

RE: Clippy:
By Belard on 5/2/2011 4:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know that Clippy is gay?

RE: Clippy:
By geekman1024 on 5/2/2011 11:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
He PLAYED with Clippy.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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