REDMOND, Wash., April 11, 2001 — Whether you love him or you hate him, say farewell to Clippy automatically popping up on your screen.
Clippy is the little paperclip with the soulful eyes and the Groucho eyebrows. The electronic ham who politely offers hints for using Microsoft Office software.
But, after four years on-screen, Clippy will lose his starring role when Microsoft Office XP debuts on May 31. Clippy, the Office Assistant introduced in Office 97, has been demoted in Office XP. The wiry little assistant is turned off by default in Office XP, but diehard supporters can turn Clippy back on if they miss him.
"Office XP is so easy to use that Clippy is no longer necessary, or useful," explained Lisa Gurry, a Microsoft product manager. "With new features like smart tags and Task Panes, Office XP enables people to get more out of the product than ever before. These new simplicity and ease-of-use improvements really make Clippy obsolete," she said.
"He's quite down in the dumps," Gurry joked. "He has even started his own campaign to try to get his old job back, or find a new one."