Clippy the paperclip could soon return to Microsoft Office as an emoji after Twitter and Instagram users voiced their approval

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hand a white t-shirt to someone dressed in a cartoon paperclip costume.
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at Clippy’s retirement party in 2001.

  • 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 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.

Read more: Microsoft is spending $16 billion to beat Google and Amazon to an underrated part of the healthcare industry

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.

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Microsoft Teams is down for people worldwide

Satya Nadella Microsoft
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Teams started going down around the world on Tuesday morning.

According to website Down Detector, users started reporting problems around 6 a.m. Eastern Time.

“We’ve confirmed that this issue affects users globally. We’re reviewing monitoring telemetry and recent changes to isolate the source of the issue,” Microsoft said in a statement, after initially saying the problem affected Europe and Asia.

It does not appear to be affecting all users.

This is the second time this month Teams has suffered a major outage. On April 1 a suite of Microsoft products including Teams, Azure, and Bing went down.

This is a developing story…

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What is Microsoft 365? Here’s what you need to know about the subscription service to Word, Excel, and other Microsoft programs

office space working on desktop computers
Microsoft 365’s subscription packages for businesses can help improve your office’s productivity and workflow.

  • Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based evolution of Microsoft Office, featuring familiar programs, like Word and Excel, but with additional features.
  • There are different tiers of Microsoft 365 plans suited for different needs, like business, personal, and family plans.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You’ve likely heard of Microsoft Office, which consists of workplace applications, including the widely used Microsoft Word program.

What you may not realize is that Word and other Office programs – Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – are also a part of Microsoft 365.

Making a one-time purchase of Microsoft Office is still an option to anyone who wants access to the suite of programs. However, you might want to opt for Microsoft 365 instead, which is structured as a paid monthly subscription plan and features myriad perks not included with Office, including cloud-based productivity tools and artificial intelligence capabilities. 

Here’s a little bit more about Microsoft 365, how it differs from its predecessor, and how you can sign up.

What to know about Microsoft 365

Some of Microsoft’s subscription-based services were formerly known as Office 365.

In April 2020, Microsoft rebranded all of those services to Microsoft 365 to help differentiate its subscription service from the traditional Office-branded Microsoft program packages.

Microsoft 365 offers special additions to its classic Office apps as well as access to more programs, like OneDrive. Even a basic Microsoft 365 personal plan gives you access to premium versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which Office doesn’t offer.  

You also get access to advanced tools and features like Microsoft Editor to help edit your writing; the financial planning tool, Microsoft Money in Excel; and OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage that allows for ease of collaboration in real time.

There’s also a slew of other smart perks in Microsoft 365: You can get focused help on your resume with Word’s Resume Assistant, or help with your next presentation with the PowerPoint Presenter Coach.

Again, these are benefits you won’t see with a basic Office purchase, and you can get them all with a Microsoft 365 plan for home, which has two tiers.

As the 365 plans move up in tiers, there are added security and business tools available. For instance, appointment manager Microsoft Bookings is available in the Standard and Premium versions of Microsoft 365, but not the Basic, and only the Premium tier of Microsoft 365 Business grants you access to mobile-device manager Intune and Azure Information Protection.

If you can’t decide on a business plan, Microsoft can help you determine what plan best fits your business, and you can back out before the one-month free trial ends.

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