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Microsoft's Clippy Briefly Comes Back To Life Only To Be Killed Off Again

Every wonder where paperclips end up when they disappear from your desk, only be to lost and forgotten over time? I imagine it is a sad existence. Clippy, Microsoft's love-to-hate Office assistant from yesteryear, knows that well. After being retired for more than two decades, and forgotten by many (and never known to others), Clippy made a comeback, only for the Microsoft to fling it out of view again.

If you have been using computers for a bit, you undoubtedly remember the cheeky assistant. Clippy was always all-too-happy to offer up help, and at times a bit too eager, based on what you were doing in an Office document. While quick to annoy at the time, in a weird way, Clippy has now become a reminder of the good ol' days.

Source: The Verge via Microsoft

We were again reminded of earlier times recently when Clippy came back as an animated sticker pack to Microsoft's Teams chat software. The sticker pack found its way to the Office developer GitHub page, and was freely attainable.

Sadly, his long-awaited comeback lasted a mere day before Microsoft decided Clippy should stay retired.

"Clippy has been trying to get his job back since 2001, and his brief appearance on GitHub was another attempt," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. "While we appreciate the effort, we have no plans to bring Clippy to Teams."

An unnamed source said the "brand police" within Microsoft were not amused by Clippy's resurrection, and quickly gave the order to fling the iconic paperclip back into the virtual dustbin. Perhaps Microsoft still feels that having something like Clippy around gives the impression that Office is difficult to use. When Microsoft first retired Clippy in 2001, it said the assistant was "no longer necessary" because Office XP was so darn easy to use.

"With new features like smart tags and Task Panes, Office XP enables people to get more out of the product than ever before. These new simplicity and ease-of-use improvements really make Clippy obsolete," Microsoft said at the time.

If this bums you out, there is actually a petition to bring Clippy back, because of course there is. At the time of this writing, it's only garnered 395 votes, though, so don't get your hopes up.

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