Microsoft's 'Clippy' headed for the trash
(CNN) -- Another victim bites the dust in the technology tailspin, but few will mourn the passing of "Clippy."
The pesky paper clip, complete with bug eyes and Groucho Marx brows, made his animated debut on Microsoft Office 97. A default feature of the program, he appears uninvited with annoyingly obvious comments like, "It looks like you are writing a letter."
But Clippy has lost his prominent perch in the new version of Microsoft Office XP. Although no longer an automatic function, the virtual vexation will still be available for service should diehard admirers miss him. That seems unlikely, given the almost universal displeasure.
"It is the most annoying thing I have ever seen on a computer," said Adam Wilkenfeld, a Microsoft user and an education video producer in Atlanta.
Humorous 'Clippy' Web site
Microsoft hopes to capitalize on the anti-Clippy fervor, publicizing the fact that the new Office program has demoted him. In an unusual display of self-directed humor, the software giant on Wednesday launched a Clippy Web site, which includes his resume.
"I've taken over this space to share my pathetic story and show off my skills as a Web designer. Not bad, huh? Know anyone who's hiring?" pleads Clippy on his site, officeclippy.com.
"He's quite down in the dumps. He's has even started his own campaign to try to get his old job back, or find a new one," Microsoft product manager Lisa Gurry said.
The site has animated videos highlighting the plight of Clippy, his voice provided by comedian Gilbert Gottfried.
Not needed for Office XP
In one clip, a vexed computer user abuses Clippy with bleeped out expletives and then screams, "Didn't you hear? Office XP has put your scheming metal butt in the digital dustbin."
Twisted into his self-deprecating musings, Clippy does manage to put in a plug for the program that downgraded him:
"Office XP has me sweating and rusting (because) it's made Office Assistants like me useless. Obsolete. And, I'm told, hideously unattractive."
Microsoft hopes Office XP will boost software sales, which have sputtered in recent quarters. The upgraded software will go on sale May 31.
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