Microsoft's "Clippy" Makes A Comeback... Sort Of
May 2, 2011 10:17 AM
comment(s) - last by
(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
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.
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.
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
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
"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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Ribbon hero
5/2/2011 1:48:21 PM
Kind of neat for those unsavy people out there. Found it ironic that Office 2007 with no One Note will not get you to level 4 (not enough points to clear level 3). Clever Microsoft trying to drive up demo downloads, on a silly trainer.
RE: Ribbon hero
5/2/2011 2:50:34 PM
I'm actually considering pushing this out to my 250+ systems here.
I'll get an expense approval for some gift-card prizes (mininum score to qualify for raffle) and maybe a prize for highest avg. scrore in departments...
I might even have a pizza lunch to announce the game and prizes. :)
RE: Ribbon hero
5/3/2011 10:06:54 AM
It's a nice way to get some extra value from the product. Everyone always knows they only use 20% of what it can do (if that).
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Microsoft Posts Significant Profit, Rewarded With Stock Price Slide
April 29, 2011, 10:11 AM
Windows 8 Early Build -- Explorer is Built Around Office 2007-like Ribbon
April 5, 2011, 12:03 PM
Xbox Chief: If You Can't Get Online, Don't Buy an Xbox One
June 12, 2013, 9:57 AM
EA Says Online Pass Used Game DRM "Was a Mistake", Mum on Xbox One
June 12, 2013, 9:30 AM
Google Acquires Waze for $1.3 Billion
June 11, 2013, 1:56 PM
Mobile Game Developers Look for New Ways to Keep Users Interested
June 10, 2013, 11:00 AM
Quick Note: Office 365 Home Premium Hits 1 Million Subscribers in Just Over 100 Days
May 29, 2013, 4:30 PM
Amazon to Launch "Kindle Worlds" for Fan Fiction Writers
May 22, 2013, 12:00 PM
Most Popular Articles
Source: Don't Worry, NSA Spies on "99 Percent" of Americans' Locations, Call Records
June 14, 2013, 3:57 PM
Report: Intel Delays 14 nm Broadwell, Schedules Haswell Refresh for 2014
June 17, 2013, 5:30 PM
NSA Leaker May be Killed in Drone Strike Says Ron Paul
June 17, 2013, 11:18 AM
Report: Apple to Release Larger iPhone Screens, Cheaper iPhone for $99
June 13, 2013, 9:41 AM
Just How Powerful is the Xbox One? Microsoft is Confused
June 18, 2013, 11:30 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information