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 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).
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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
Apple Releases iOS 7.1, The First Major Update to Its "Rethought" Mobile OS
March 10, 2014, 1:52 PM
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Leaked Early
March 7, 2014, 9:30 AM
Xbox One Gets Beta Version of "Project Spark" Starting Today
March 4, 2014, 2:33 PM
Cortana Voice Assistant Coming to Windows Phone in New 8.1 Update
March 3, 2014, 1:09 PM
Microsoft Launches Site to Tell Clueless Customers if They're Running XP
March 3, 2014, 12:34 PM
With Windows XP Support Ending Soon, Microsoft Uses Pop-ups to Encourage Upgrades
March 3, 2014, 9:43 AM
Most Popular Articles
Bitcoin King Pt. II: Mt. Gox's Dictator Karpelès Proves Tragically Flawed
March 7, 2014, 1:12 PM
Hack Reveals Fallen Bitcoin CEO's Posh Tokyo Penthouse
March 10, 2014, 4:28 PM
NASA Considering SpaceX "Red Dragon" for Returning Mars Samples to Earth
March 10, 2014, 2:43 PM
India Could Rock Google With Its Biggest Antitrust Fine Yet -- $5B USD
March 10, 2014, 8:12 PM
Sony, Panasonic Announce Archival Disc Standard Coming in 2015
March 10, 2014, 8:50 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information