- Microsoft’s Clippy, the cartoon paperclip helper, might come back as an emoji, the company said.
- More than 320,000 users across Twitter and Instagram have said they want to bring Clippy back.
- Clippy was added to Microsoft Office in 1997 as a virtual assistant.
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Clippy the paperclip could soon return to Microsoft Office.
The cartoon paperclip, which first popped up to offer assistance to Office users in 1997, was retired in the early 2000s but could return as an emoji after receiving support from fans on social media.
Microsoft posted a tweet on Wednesday saying that it would replace the paperclip emoji in Microsoft 365 with Clippy if it got 20,000 likes. So far, more than 127,000 Twitter users have liked the post.
And in a similar call out on Instagram, the company has received just shy of the 200,000 likes it said that it needed to reinstate the character, with 199,301 likes and counting.
Clippy was introduced to Office 97 users to provide tips on how to use the program, and users either loved or hated his frequent interventions. Microsoft retired Clippy when it launched Office XP but still gave “diehard supporters” who missed his “soulful eyes” the option to turn him back on, the company said at the time.
-Microsoft (@Microsoft) July 14, 2021
Microsoft did not give any more details about Clippy’s rebirth, and told one Twitter user who asked if it was joking to “wait and find out.” But a trademark filing for the Clippy character by Microsoft in June, first spotted by The Register, suggests that the company might be serious about bringing him back.
Clippy almost made a comeback in 2019 when some Microsoft workers created Clippy animated stickers in Teams, but the effort was quickly squashed by the company’s “brand police,” an unnamed source close to the matter told The Verge.
Microsoft also introduced Windows 365, its new “Cloud PC” product, in another Wednesday tweet. The new software will enable users to stream their Windows desktop onto any device, a solution designed for hybrid home-office working, the company said.