— If you remember “Clippy” — that googly-eyed paper clip that once hopped out of the corner of the computer screen to “help” with Microsoft Office tasks — chances are you don’t remember him fondly.
Many Office users cringed when the Microsoft cartoon delivered cheerily obvious messages like: “It looks like you’re writing a letter.”
“I know I’m writing a f-ing letter, you stupid paperclip,” one hater wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to Clippy’s demise.
Well, like it or not, Clippy is back.
But there’s good news: You don’t have to deal with him if you don’t want to.
After killing off the cartoon paper clip, Microsoft decided to revive him (I guess it’s a him?) in limited fashion as part of a learn-how-to-use-Office game called “Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy’s Second Chance.”
The game is just something you download to get better at using Office, if you want to. Clippy takes people through challenges in this game, but he doesn’t show up automatically in Word, PowerPoint or Microsoft’s other Office apps.
Part of the reason Office users got so annoyed at the paper clip in the past was that he would appear unexpectedly when they were trying to work. (And, really, who can work when a paper clip with eyes is staring at them?)
Microsoft’s description of “Ribbon Hero 2″ is stirring chatter online:
“Yes, we turned Office into a game! If you’re going to spend time immersed in the inner workings of Office, by golly it should be fun.
“In Ribbon Hero 2, you’ll hop on board Clippy’s stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, you get to explore a new game board with challenges you must complete to get to the next level.”
Clippy was a default part of early versions of Microsoft Office, starting with Office 97. In 2001, the company stopped having the cartoon show up by default in its software. Microsoft even created an ad campaign making fun of the paper clip, saying they were putting him out of work.
By 2007, the company had eliminated Clippy entirely.
What do you think of his return?