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The Clipping of Clippy

Boot Camp feature for Friday, April 13, 2001

Another layoff in the tech sector... . Microsoft clips Clippy. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Okay... so it's a cheap promotional trick for the new XP version of Microsoft Office. But... it's not too often that the software giant from Redmond pokes a little fun at itself. The target is the much maligned animated paper clip... .Clippy... .that serves as an automated assistant in Microsoft Office applications. Product manager Lisa Gurry...

"Clippy, the Office assistant that's either loved or hated is becoming increasingly useless now that we've incorporated a lot of ease of use and simplicity improvements into Office XP. And so the campaign is focusing on his demotion... he's been turned off by default in Office XP.

Clippy won't be gone... .he'll just be forgotten unless a user decides to turn the feature on. The animated character has been the subject of ridicule by Conan O'Brien... and other comedians. What Microsoft has created now... .is a Web site with a Clippy game...

"And that Web site is OfficeClippy.com and on his Web site there are a bunch of fun things to do for people that love to hate Clippy... .including a game where they can shoot Clippy with different office materials like a stapler or rubber bands...as well as a poll where people can vote on what Clippy's next step should be."

The last time I tried... .the Web site appeared to be down. Perhaps Clippy has already started a new career... as a hacker. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin... Bloomberg Radio.