Clippit: Gone but Not Forgotten

Everyone remembers Clippit right? I’m sure when you saw the name in my article it didn’t even ring a bell.

Maybe you thought:

“Oh that foreign kid in my physics class!”

“Oh the lyrics to Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ Clippit, Clip, Clip It, Clip it like a Polaroid Picta”

Or just honestly:

“Oh…I have no idea what that is!!!!”

However, when you look at Clippit’s headshot, you’re immediately transported back to Microsoft Windows, where you’re continuously clicking the little paperclip, hoping he’ll do tricks. This is at least what I did when I was at the ever-so-mature age of eight in Clippit’s prime (1997).

I don’t know about you guys, but Clippit was the only reason I opened Microsoft Office or even got on my Dell desktop. I either went on to play snake, go on AIM or hang out with my buddy, Clippit.

So after all these years of crying myself to sleep, after awaiting the results of the search warrant I issued to the police 15 years ago, I finally found out what happened to Clippit.

It turns out the rest of the world, including TV shows, comedians and Microsoft themselves thought ole Clippit was “annoying” and “intrusive.”

Smithsonian Magazine called Clippit:

“One of the worst software design blunders in the annals of computing.”

Harsh Smithsonian. Harsh.

Anyway, after several attempts to remodel himself, even changing his named to “Clippy,” he, as well as his team of Microsoft Assistants, had to go.

Of course no one remembers this useless Microsoft invention. The fact that I, and the rest of my 2nd grade class, appointed the Microsoft Assistants as just toys and cute, cyber pets screamed failure in itself.

By 2008, Clippit became a memory of the past.

This article was not just meant to be a walk down memory lane, but to highlight the obstacles and failures technology manufacturers have taken over the past 15 years. Apple wasn’t the iPhone 6 overnight and Google wasn’t a search engine in 24 hours either.

What do you think about these stepping stones? Can you name a failure in the technology’s past? Can you name an improvement?

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