Who was Clippy?

A long time ago, before Cortana, Microsoft wanted to make an assistant. However, unlike Cortana, nobody liked Clippy.

In 1997, somebody had the bright idea of making the most useless office assistant ever. He would give you random tips about the office applications, and offer his assistance in your tasks. In theory, Clippy would have used complex algorithms to analyze text, and determine the assistance needed, or if idle for certain periods of time, offer advice because maybe the user needs help with something. Available from Microsoft Office 97 to 2003, it had a default character known as Clippit, but to the users it became known as Clippy. While other character were available in the older versions like Hoverbot, The Genius, the Office logo, Scribble, and etc. but these are lesser-known. Clippy has some animations to make it seem more intelligent or interesting, but were mostly overshadowed by the amount of annoyance created by Clippy.

Remember when I mentioned Clippy used algorithms to figure out what you need? It was actually a misinterpretation of a study done by Stanford University, about keyboards, mice, and yelling at your computer. User interface was minimal for a n assistant software, unless you think any assistant can do useful stuff if you don’t tell it anything. Before XP, Clippy wasn’t turned off by default too, making it even more irritating how it couldn’t be dealt with for such a long time. If you were insane enough to leave it on, you’d be constantly bombarded with tips you already knew in the first place. You couldn’t turn off the tips, so you’d just have Clippy interrupt your work just so that you have to close the bubble, and get back to whatever ti was you were doing. Not exactly the help anybody wants, eh? So here’s today’s moral of the story: If you want to make an office assistant, please don’t make it act like Clippy. Clippy was very bad, end of story.

This Link leads to a website where somebody made a Microsoft Office Assistant simulation from JavaScript. Click if you have too much spare time on your hands.


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