The dream of the ’90s was alive in Microsoft Teams this week when Microsoft’s old office assistant, Clippy, showed up. If you used Microsoft Office between 1997 and 2001, you likely remember Clippy as the animated paperclip that popped up and offered tips for using the software. Microsoft did away with Clippy in 2001, so people were surprised to see Clippy stickers appear in Microsoft Teams this week. And they were even more surprised when, just a day later, Microsoft offed the little guy again.
According to The Verge, Clippy briefly appeared as an animated pack of stickers for Microsoft Teams. The stickers were released on the Office Developer GitHub page, but by the next day, they had vanished. Clippy was around just long enough to rally old fans, and there’s now a user petition to bring Clippy back.
The stickers seemed harmless enough, like a fun little inside joke for those who remember Clippy. But it looks like the broader (and probably more corporate) branding side of the company was not pleased. In 2001, Microsoft called Clippy “the little paperclip with the soulful eyes and the Groucho eyebrows.” The company described the paperclip as an “electronic ham” who “politely” offered hints for using Microsoft Office. Like any popup that offers unsolicited content, though, Clippy could also be a nuisance. It looks like Microsoft wanted to squash any memories of its misguided office assistant, but it might be too late for that.
references: microsoft, engadget, the verge