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Microsoft resurrects Clippy in an unexpected place

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Microsoft has added Clippy into Microsoft Teams as part of a sticker pack.

“Clippy has agreed to come out of retirement! Whether you loved him or hated him, Clippy is back with a Retro Sticker Pack in Teams”, Microsoft said.

Stickers are used in Microsoft Teams, the video calling software that essentially replaced Skype, for users to better express themselves. These can be found under the sticker tab, and can be searched through for popular memes or other images.

Clippy itself first appeared as a part of Office 97 and aided in Microsoft Word and other programs, but the paperclip, whose proper name was Clippit, was apparently a “polarising” feature, hence its removal.

Users "liked having someone with them, and not being alone," Larson-Green, the executive responsible for Clippy’s departure. But – following complaints that it was irritating and unhelpful – the paperclip was removed in Office 2007.

Melinda Gates was originally part of the Microsoft team that worked on Clippy, and it was an inside joke within Microsoft that Clippy remained present for longer because of her relationship with Bill Gates.

Clippy had appeared in Microsoft Teams briefly in March 2019, where employees had made and released a sticker pack via Microsoft’s official Office developer GitHub page. After 24 hours, the pack disappeared.

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

Prior to the sticker pack, Clippy was set to be the replacement for the paperclip emoji in Microsoft Office.

“If this gets 20k likes, we’ll replace the paperclip emoji in Microsoft 365 with Clippy”, Microsoft tweeted in July this year. The tweet received 174,000 likes.

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