Microsoft resurrects Clippy and then brutally kills him off again

By Tom Warren

Microsoft’s Clippy has had a hard life. Born in Office 97, Clippy politely offered hints for using Microsoft’s Office software. Often misunderstood, you either loved or hated its soulful eyes and “Groucho eyebrows” (as Microsoft described them) when it popped up on screen to please or annoy you. While Clippy lived a rather short and eventful life until Office XP in 2001, Microsoft killed off its Office Assistant in favor of new Office features like smart tags and task panes. Clippy has been trying to find a job at Microsoft ever since, and this week it looked like the loveable paperclip was back for good.

Microsoft resurrected Clippy on Tuesday, transforming the paperclip into an animated pack of stickers for the company’s Teams chat software. These stickers were then released on Microsoft’s official Office developer GitHub page earlier this week, free for any Microsoft Teams users to import and use them for fun. Unfortunately, Clippy disappeared a day later, vanishing once again into the deep Microsoft archives.

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

A source familiar with the situation at Microsoft tells The Verge that the “brand police” inside the company weren’t happy that Clippy had appeared in Microsoft Teams, and immediately ordered the brutal firing of the anthropomorphic paperclip. Microsoft has now killed the GitHub project associated with Clippy for Microsoft Teams, and Clippy is once again searching for a new job. There’s still hope, though.

Clippy fans have started a petition of sorts to restore its star role in Microsoft Teams. If you want to see Clippy return as a sticker messaging pack, you can vote for it right here. Microsoft often responds to direct feedback from its uservoice sites, and the top request right now is for private channels in Microsoft Teams. This feature will appear later this year, alongside a bunch of new inventive additions to make Slack users jealous.

Here’s a taste of the fun animations included in the Clippy sticker pack. Thanks for all the memories and memes Clippy. Good luck in your job hunt.