Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Image via The Science Elf/YouTube Image via The Science Elf/YouTube

Do you remember Clippy? Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri existed, the anthropomorphic paperclip-shaped assistant dominated the screens of computers everywhere in the 1990s to help Microsoft Office 2001 users when writing letters. Well, though it has been over 18 years since Clippy last appeared in mainstream software, he recently made a bit of a comeback, only to die off again.

Earlier this week, some Clippy themed sticker packs were released to the Microsoft Teams collaboration software. The stickers were then posted as a project on GitHub, where users were able to bask in its glory and import Clippy into Teams for their own fun. Several cool stickers were briefly available, showing Clippy holding beer, coffee, and even sitting behind a desk at work. Sadly, the entire selection was pulled just after one day, The Verge reports.

Microsoft’s internal “brand police” was apparently not happy with Clippy coming back from the dead to please Teams users. “Clippy has been trying to get his job back since 2001, and his brief appearance on GitHub was another attempt. While we appreciate the effort, we have no plans to bring Clippy to Teams,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.

Although no longer part of Microsoft Office or Teams, Clippy has had a bit of a journey over the past few years. He recently unofficially made his way into Microsoft’s Visual Studio a downloadable extension, giving users reactions to certain actions within the development software. Before that, Clippy was even made available as a Chrome extension which made him appear on every webpage you visit.

Many Office 2001 users originally found Clippy annoying and Microsoft eventually discontinued his usage in favor of a modern and fresh ribbon interface in Microsoft Office. But if you really love Clippy, there is a petition to bring it back to Microsoft Teams. At the time of publication, it currently has more than 1,600 votes.

Microsoft is known to respond to user feedback on the Teams user voice, so there could be hope that one day, Clippy will come back. For now, though, he will live on in YouTube documentaries, fan art, and in the memories of 1990s kids everywhere.

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