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Misunderstood: The Story of Clippy

b2ap3_thumbnail_clippy400“It looks like you’re writing a letter. Would you like help?” No matter how many times we told him “no”, Clippy just didn’t seem to get the hint. Microsoft’s animated office assistant, Clippy, was last seen in 2003. Where has his journey taken him over the last ten years?

If you’ve never encountered Clippy, you probably weren’t using a computer between 1997 and 2003. As Microsoft Office dominated the productivity software realm, Clippy the paperclip made his way into 37 million American homes to offer his services. Clippy made it a point to be the most loyal of friends. All you had to do was open Word and type “Dear,” and Clippy would readily appear out of thin air to respond to your distress call, whether you wanted him to or not.

It seems that Clippy’s mantra is “Nice guys finish last.” After signing the eight-year deal with Microsoft, they had to let him go due to an overwhelming negative response. Smithsonian Magazine dared to call Clippy “one of the worst software design blunders in the annals of computing.” That’s pretty harsh considering how nice it was for Clippy to hang out and dance in the corner of their computer screens.

After Clippy was let go, he responded naturally by falling into a deep depression and finding himself tucked away in a box in a warehouse, to be forgotten forever. Eventually, after a few conversations with the warehouse psychiatrist, Dr. Desklamp, he mustered up the strength to escape from the warehouse to pursue his lifelong dream. Clippy was determined to become the world’s biggest rap star.

Clippy turned to his deep knowledge in how to spell words and write letters for inspiration in his newfound craft of producing and performing rap music. After Clippy developed an album’s worth of material, he turned to an old friend who he used to work with on the desk of Bill Gates; M&M. M&M was amazing. He was the only piece of candy that ever escaped the Gates desk, to find solace on the desk of Grammy Award-winning rapper, Eminem. This was the connection that Clippy was waiting for!

M&M set up Clippy up for an audition with Eminem, who was floored by Clippy’s performance…in a bad way. Eminem reportedly described Clippy’s raps as “annoyingly helpful.” Clippy’s dream of rap stardom was shattered, but he was still determined to rise again to stardom.

Clippy turned to acting, almost beating out Ben Affleck as the star of Daredevil, but was just short of his big break. Still determined to be a movie star, he tried out for other distinguished roles like Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber handle in Star Wars Episode III, a ghost in Scooby-Doo 2, a carrot in 10,000 BC, and a snake in Snakes on a Plane, but failed to make the cut. Clippy again fell into a deep depression, and crawled into the nearest couch crevice he could find, and disappeared for several years.

Hope for Clippy has been recently found with the recent boom in the app market. Linus Torvalds, an unexpected fan of his career with Microsoft, gave Clippy a call and offered him a deal that he couldn’t refuse. Torvalds, and his startup company Smore, wanted to put Clippy back in the limelight by using JavaScript to launch him into the Internet to help people in their search efforts.

You can even download Clippy here.

Clippy is loving his new home at Smore. He is feeling more accomplished than ever. “The Internet will give me new opportunities to help people make good decisions” says Clippy. “Just today I was able to help an Internet user correct his spelling of ‘sneak peak’ to ‘sneak peek’.”

We encourage you to download the new and improved Clippy from Smore, and follow his witty and sarcastic thoughts on Twitter at @TheClippy. Will you give Clippy another chance? Share your thoughts with us in the “comments” section about how Clippy has impacted your life.