After four years on-screen, Clippy, the paperclip with the Groucho Marx eyebrows that politely offers hints for using Office software, will lose his starring role when Microsoft launches Office XP on 31 May.
The wiry assistant is turned off by default in Office XP but can be turned back on if supporters miss him by clicking on the ‘Help’ tag on the Office XP task bar.
Lisa Gurry, a Microsoft product manager, said XP is so easy to use that Clippy is no longer necessary or useful. ‘With new features like smart tags and Task Panes, Office XP enables people to get more out of the product than ever before,’ she said.
Gurry explained that Clippy is down in the dumps and ‘has even started his own campaign to try to get his old job back or find a new one’.
A new website, www.officeclippy.com, tells of his plight. ‘My name is Clippy and Office XP has me sweating and rusting. They even cut my pay, despite the fact that I work for free,’ it says.
Gilbert Gottfried, the comedian known for playing loud characters on Saturday Night Live, is the voice of Clippy in the video on the website. The on-screen assistant has his own song that says: ‘Since you’ve upgraded to Office XP, you’ve got no use for me.’
Microsoft has also asked customers to take part in an online poll to determine where Clippy’s future time should be spent. Among the occupation choices are President of the US, chef, lock pick, lead singer for a metal band and paper clip.
The site is part of a $30m marketing and advertising campaign launched to promote Office XP. The Clippy Web campaign will continue until the Office XP product launch at the end of May.
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