Microsoft’s most iconic and infamous paperclip mascot, Office Assistant Clippy is back (sort of), albeit in a new, unauthorized Windows 11 AI app.
Recently, a third-party developer FireCube Studios launched an unofficial version of the Clippy app for Windows 11 (and Windows 10) desktops on the Microsoft Store.
Known as Clippy by FireCube, the app is powered by OpenAI’s GPT 3.5 model. This preview version requires a personal OpenAI API key for using ChatGPT (with GPT-3.5 only).
According to the developer, you can pin the famous beady-eyed paperclip Clippy on the desktop to get quick AI answers to your questions directly from the OS desktop.
Further, the developer also has plans to reintroduce other classic Microsoft characters like Bob – and a more classic Clippy design to add more nostalgia.
“Clippy by FireCube (Not by Microsoft) brings back the infamous Clippit into your desktop powered by the OpenAI GPT 3.5 model (OpenAI key required as of this version),” reads the description of the app on the Microsoft Store.
“Clippy can be pinned to the screen for quick access to chat or just be left for nostalgia. This app is open source with improvements coming such as support for more characters like bob or classic clippy. Dragging and resizing and support for no OpenAI key required.”
FireCube Studios is planning to develop this app as an open-source project for improving the program. The Clippy app is available for free and downloadable from the Microsoft Store and open-source on GitHub. Currently, the software is in the preview version, with the final version not released yet.
Microsoft recently announced Windows Copilot, an AI ‘personal assistant’ for Windows 11. The tool is powered by the new AI Bing Chat that brings the power of next-generation AI to Office 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook Mail, Teams, and more.
Clippy (or Clippit) debuted as a ‘virtual office assistant’ in Microsoft Office in 1997. It was an animated part of Microsoft’s graphical user interface that was designed to help Microsoft Office users perform a number of tasks by offering advice and tutorials.
The feature drew a strongly negative response from many users. Microsoft turned off the feature by default in Office XP, acknowledging its unpopularity in an ad campaign spoofing Clippit.
In 2007, the feature was removed altogether in Office 2007 and Office 2008 for Mac, as it continued to draw criticism even from Microsoft employees. However, in 2019, the Redmond giant released the Clippy sticker pack for Teams, but it was closed a day later.
Further, in July 2021, Microsoft used Twitter to show off a redesign of Clippit (which they called “Clippy” in the Tweet) and said that if it received 20,000 likes, they would replace the standard paperclip emoji on Microsoft 365 with the character.
The Tweet quickly surpassed 20,000 likes, and they then announced to replace it in Windows 11.