Technology

Clippy’s comeback? Microsoft tweet promises return of software assistant as an Office 365 emoji

Clippy, or Clippit, from Microsoft Office.

Welcome back, Clippy.

Microsoft said Wednesday it would revive its often reviled animated software assistant Clippy as a replacement emoji for the paperclip in Office 365. It dared followers to like a tweet 20,000 times to make it happen, and the number was easily eclipsed by lunchtime.

Originally bundled into Office 97, Clippy’s intent was to pop up and help computer users navigate through programs such as Word or Excel. Instead, the pop ups proved distracting.

Clippy was tossed in the office supply trash heap after four years. But the googly-eyed, over-eager helper — wearing a smile any paperclip mom would love — has remained a bit of an iconic figure in Microsoft’s history.

Last week the company announced that Clippy would be among nostalgic images the company was offering as backgrounds for its Teams collaboration app. In 2019, Clippy resurfaced as an application for Apple’s MacOS. Clippy also tried to get his job back in the form of animated stickers when he showed up in 2019 in Microsoft’s official Office developer GitHub page for use on Teams.

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