Microsoft’s polarising Office Assistant Clippy is making a comeback over ten years after animated character was put out to virtual pasture, having irritated countless users and been mercilessly parodied.
Office users nostalgic for the overly helpful paperclip, arguably a proto-bot, will be disappointed however, as Clippy will only be available for the Microsoft Teams collaboration application as a palette of animated icons.
Those wanting to install the Clippy for Teams app can head over to the open source Github code repository and download the manifest file for the program.
Microsoft is making Clippy for Teams available under the permissive open-source MIT license.
Clippy appeared first in Microsoft Office for Windows version 97 as an interactive animation that was supposed to help users find help content for the productivity suite.
Originally named Clippit, it was the default Office Assistant character, designed by Kevan Atteberry using a Macintosh computer.
Despite profoundly annoying Microsoft customers and employees alike by interrupting their work with unwanted offers to help, Clippy survived until Office 2007 for Windows, and Office 2008 for Mac although it was turned off by default in Office XP a few years earlier.
Even then, Microsoft wasn’t fully ready to part ways with Clippy and a year ago inserted a hidden message about the animation into its personal digital assistant for Windows 10, Cortana, as a so-called Easter Egg.