back to article 'Clippy' coup felled by Microsoft twitterati

Redmond watchers discussing the corporate shake-up at Microsoft found one key figure lacking in the news: Clippy, the idiot-savant office assistant that pestered, hen-pecked, and lectured office users for a generation. So concerned by Clippy's absence from the boardroom episode of musical chairs going on over at Microsoft was …


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  1. Daniel B.

    He's alive!

    I thought the BOFH's Alter Ego from Salmon Days had turned him into a bike or something...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    You're being chased by a giant paperclip...

    Of course they didn't mention Clippy. Clippy is to Gates what Windows 8 is to Ballmer (or so I think).

    Of course the real reason is that "reliable sources" (Youtube) tell us that Clippy once drove Bill Gates to suicide (link to youtube movie which I think is funny).

    You have been warned!

    Would you like some HELP?! ;-)

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: You're being chased by a giant paperclip...

      _Clippy is to Gates what Windows 8 is to Ballmer (or so I think)._

      I always thought there was a strong resemblance between Ballmer and Microsoft "Bob"

  3. Captain DaFt

    Uh, nope!

    "It is rumored that prior to Microsoft, Clippy was used by generations of academics to organize the pages of the flesh-bound fiendish Necronomicon manuscript."

    Not even the feared and dreaded Necronomicon is evil enough to deserve this!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Uh, nope!

      Rumors. Clippy is just doing honest, gainful work in the underground library bunker of the Laundry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Uh, nope!

        Bob always did claim strange things live down there....

  4. Mpeler

    Or you can roll your own :)

    Clippy does live on in some places, inviting creativity and laughter at the same time...'ave a look 'ere

    1. Stevey

      Re: Or you can roll your own :)

      Indeed.. and here, with the rest of his chums:

  5. FrankAlphaXII

    Clippy for CEO!

    Seriously, they should fire Ballmer and replace him with Clippy.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Clippy for CEO!

      If Clippy bought back a proper Windows 8 Start Menu, I'm sure he'd win a few friends...

      Personally, I don't care.

  6. Don Jefe

    Fringe Case

    I always liked Clippy.

    I'm not proud of it, but I couldn't help it. It was like finding a live stoat in your lunchbox. Completely useless and possibly destructive, but still adorable.

    1. Grikath

      Re: Fringe Case

      And 100% fun to mess around with to have him pop up at inappropriate times/triggers to the frustration of the less technically inclined.

      [engage Look of Affronted Innocence]

    2. Velv Silver badge

      Re: Fringe Case

      Clippy was great when you were asked to help get a silver surfer up and running with their new computer. It taught them how to ask the computer questions on the simple things they didn't know how to do when they first got started and it kept them off the phone to me every 30 minutes.

      Once you understood the concept of asking the computer how to do something you turned it off. For some reason I've now go the picture of Scottie in Star Trek IV talking to the mouse in the glass factory.


    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Fringe Case

      Clippy was indeed useful, mostly to search or learn about features you didn't know Office had. Back in '97, this included the (sadly excised) option of saving versions of a Word document. You could have "version1", "version2" and current versions of your files in one place. And the animations triggered when you did certain activities (saving, sending email, printing) were funny.

      What really made Clippy annoying was that the "HEEEY IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE WRITING A LETTER!!!" helpfulness couldn't be disabled; you either closed the whole agent away, or had it there ready to annoy you. Had MS put an option to have Clippy not intrude like it did, it might have had a better reception.

  7. Steven Roper


    That photo of Clippy looks suspiciously like a kick bag. Perhaps Ballmer got tired of replacing chairs while practicing his kung fu...

  8. Martin Budden Bronze badge

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Clippy, however, has always been the most idiotic, annoying, broken thing in computing. Ever. Kill it with hammers!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <a href="">Steven Sinofsky says he removes SIMs from iPhones now.</a> (lolwut)


    Clippy might've been annoying but I still like him anyways... IDK why, I just do OK

  10. danR2

    Tapped for MS Security and Backdoors is...

    ...James Clapper. Yes, folks your favorite perjurer, and inheritor of J. Edgar Hoover's coveted bra, will make life all that easier for the NSA as they spy on the taxpayers and other terrorists who think they can push America around.

  11. Inspector71

    Clippy...never heard of him

    Us mactards never saw the dreaded clip if I remember unless you actively sought him out. On Office for Mac the default assistant was a little Mac Plus with single button mice for feet which you proceeded to turn off after about ten seconds.

  12. Craig 28

    The office assistant was indeed a pain in the arse, though I did sometimes turn it on with Links because he was cute and some of the animations were mildly amusing. That was Office 2000 for reference if anyone cares.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I see you are trying to write a sarcastic forum reply. Would you like help with that?

    2. cortland

      Rumour has it

      Rumour has it that Clippy married Siri -- and her daughter the office nag will be dropping in *any day now*.

    3. Oz

      That was version that had the dog that barked and did tricks? I wasted many an hour playing with that dog... happy days!

  13. Candy

    Isn't it time to reboot the oh-so-far-ahead-of-it's-time-and-that's-why-it-failed Salmon Days? Or, perhaps, more than a decade on, at least make the existing vids available for download.

  14. Ron Eve

    I see you're trying....

    I always thought this was the reaction to Clippy in an office....

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I wanted to be able to replace it with your own design. Something like this

    I especially liked the idea of disabling it by closing zippy's zipper.

    Is that so wrong?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clippy has a use, you can straighten him out and use him to eject SIM cards in phones that use those slightly annoying SIM card trays with eject holes.

  17. TheresaJayne

    Check out Helpdesk cartoon they have binky the annoying paperclip

    Birth of Binky Part 1

    Birth of Binky Part 2

    Birth of Binky Part 3

    Birth of Binky The Aftermath

  18. User McUser

    I am pretty sure that what you see in that photo is a costume given its apparent size and arm holes.

    And that horrifies me beyond words.

    1. Esskay

      It's the punishment for mentioning Microsoft's share price in front of Ballmer.

  19. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    I think MS stock would go up a couple of points immediately...

    If they gave Clippy a public execution and swore to never, ever include it in any product ever again.

  20. WereWoof

    What was wrong with Bob? <innocent face>

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