Microsoft privately working on “Work Assistant” App Which Could Be Cortana + Clippy
If you are an old Window and Microsoft Office fan you will remember the small desktop assistant that popped up when you opened a Word Document or XLS sheet. Called ‘Clippy’, the tiny animated icon would help you with several tasks by offering tips and tricks while you worked on your word documents, excel sheets or powerpoint presentations.
Microsoft removed Clippy from the modern versions of the Microsoft Office Suite, but the latest rumour hints at possible return of the ‘Clippy’ along with Microsoft’s other assistant Cortana.
ZDnet reports that Microsoft is now privately testing a new Windows Phone app called Work Assistant. Though not much is known about Work Assistant, the project could be related to a project that Bill Gates is working on for Microsoft called Personal Agent.
The Work Assistant though to be much like Clippy was originally uncovered by Windows Mobile Power User. It currently exists as an internal beta and is designed to help users perform Office tasks on Windows Phone.
The Work Assistant App is about 2MB in size and is available for download on the Windows Phone Store and is compatible with devices running at least Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft has stated it to be a ‘Work Assistant prototype.’ The Work Assistant also requires permission to access appointments, contacts, the internet and the device’s microphone to function.
While unveiling Windows 10 last month, Microsoft had also demonstrated how how the Cortana personal assistant that originally debuted on Windows Phone could be used to find Office files stored locally on the PC or on the cloud in OneDrive. The Work Assistant may be an extension of that and it is speculated that Windows 10 could offer smartphone users a unique Cortana + Clippy amalgamation for assisting in day to day task.
Bill Gates’s Personal Agent project
Another possibility is that Work Assistant may be part of Bill Gates’s Personal Agent project, which he revealed during his latest Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.
“One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to,” Gates said. “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this.”