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“It comes to technological failures. It seems most simply fallen to obscurity from the apple apple newton to the blackberry playbook. Sure they got bad pressed for time but after few years nobody even remembers them for better or worse. Except for one tech product.
One that just can t seem to get a rest once still being made fun of nearly 20 years after its introduction clippy yes. Who could forget the much maligned addition to microsoft office. 97. A little cartoon paperclip intent on making.
The user experience. Just a bit easier with more human touch. Pretty cheesy. Especially for an addition to a business application.
So where did this idea come from and where did it go our story begins a few decades ago in the year 1991. The proportion of families in the united states who owned a computer was somewhere around 15 between the constantly dropping prices of personal computers and a niche. Little thing called the internet becoming more and more popular with each passing year. It was obvious that that statistic was only going to grow some forecasts suggested that almost half of all households would own a computer by 1995 and with computers making their way into the home.
A whole new demographic of less technically inclined people would be using them it s worth noting that the graphical user interface popularized by the macintosh in 1984 had been introduced less than a decade ago. And it was still up for debate. If the desktop window metaphor would continue to be used or if it was just a fad the orders on the microsoft project utopia s started in 1992 believed in the latter to some extent just as the graphical interface it extended the text interface a social interface they suggested would extend the graphical interface armed with research from stanford. And suggesting that people interact socially with computers as if they were humans along with the two professors behind the research clifford nass and byron reeves as consultants microsoft spent the next three years creating what someone considered to be its biggest failure.
Ms. Bob microsoft bob was a program that sat on top of windows and introduced a new metaphor for computing rather than a desktop with files programs and windows bob used a house with rooms and different objects. That acted as programs. So if you wanted to set the time you d click on the clock in the room.
Alongside the new graphics were little characters like rover..
The dog that would sit in the bottom corner of your screen to walk you through whatever task you were doing talking personally to the user and giving specific responses to keep the conversation. Moving forward the program flopped a big time between its 99 price tag higher end hardware requirements. Putting it out of the reach of most beginner computer users. And the fact that critics and the more technically inclined found in the overly.
Patronizing bob never really found its niche selling about 50000. Copies. Altogether for comparison that same year windows. 95.
Sold nearly 3 million copies in its first month. Alone still the characters of ms. Bob didn t hold a candle to microsoft s actual vision for a social interface in fact at the same ces. That bill gates had announced bob.
He had also participated in a much more advanced demonstration of what these characters could become it included live 3d animated characters like pd the parrot pre recorded speech and most importantly speech recognition allowing for a conversational interface granted it only worked in the narrow area of music selection and all the cartooning animations. Really just slowed down the whole process. But even so the fact that it required essentially no prior training to use demonstrated the power of the social interface how about out know something else would you like to hear everybody wants to world world sure. And so even though.
Ms. Bob failed and the project was discontinued the technology behind its little cartoon characters microsoft actor remained in use less than two years later microsoft released office 97. The long awaited addition to their productivity software line with a new little feature enabled by default. The office assistant sitting in a little window of its own the office assistant was microsoft s second attempt at incorporating ms.
Actor characters into a product rather than having to read a manual or browse. The software s help topics the system would offer help options allow the user to ask questions and even automatically detect. When it could offer guided assistance. While your software was giving us the infamous line.
It looks like you re writing a letter would you like help that line it seems is always pinned on clipping..
But actually microsoft office had several characters to choose from even a few humanoid characters based on historical figures like albert einstein and shakespeare just in case. You needed a digital version of the bard to tell you your letter stinks clippy or clip. It officially just happened to be the default character the result of focus groups finding him to be the most trustful and engaging an endearing character out of about 250 to choose from cookies. Creator kevin atteberry.
A children s book illustrator that submitted 15 characters alone clippy just happened to be the unlucky favorite of the bunch. It didn t help that office assistant was enabled by default sure novice computer users would probably appreciate any kind of additional user friendliness but microsoft seemed adamant that the assistant was something everyone was going to use even the experienced office users who found the little cartoon characters patronizing. But just like with bob before the negative reception wasn t enough to stop microsoft s development of the social interface and with the backing of tandy trower microsoft actor was given an update into what s now called microsoft agent microsoft agent added speech capabilities through the microsoft speech api but more importantly it finally allowed third party developers to create and use these agent characters in their own programs and websites and with the software finally being available to the public. It saw some more widespread news like websites.
Full of custom characters for free download. Some further down the uncanny valley than others and even programs. That used it you know what everyone knows i m just gonna say ponzi buddy might as well just quit drying it out as for clippy. Though it wouldn t be long for microsoft to turn on ms.
Office. 2000. The opposite system s a makeover to better match the pre rendered graphics of the ms. Aging characters.
But by the time office xp rolled around clip this time was up the office assistant was disabled by default in the new version of ms. Office and rather than just having that be a silent little tweak to the program. Microsoft made it a selling point not even four years after creating him microsoft jumped on the clip ii hate bandwagon complete with a flash game. Where you tried to remove clippy from your computer.
And a three part animated series showing clip ii. Getting fired. I d also like to point out that it s official. Microsoft cannon that clippy has the voice of gilbert godfried.
Oh really office xp yeah well we ll just see about this hey beat..
It the real irony is as much as microsoft was trying to let it be known that office xp finally got rid of that annoying. Pay per click office assistant was still there sure now you had to enable it manually. But it wouldn t be until office 2007 six years later the clip ii would finally be gone for good from the program. And even after that the technology.
That powered clippy microsoft agent would remain in the windows operating system until windows 7 in 2009. When anyone daring enough to mess around with it for whatever reasons. There might be would need to install it manually from the microsoft website essentially spelling the end of clip ii that was nearly 10 years ago 17. If you count the initial removal of clippy in office xp.
There are people going into high school. Right now who may have grown up never seeing clippy on their computer. So why is it that now over 20 years. After its introduction.
People are still making fun of clippy through youtube videos. Tv and things better left unmentioned. Well. Honestly what else.
But nostalgia. None necessarily. Some stockholm syndrome like attachment to the em light software. But a shared experience between tons of people who happen to be alive during a four year window flops like the newton fade out in part because they were unpopular to begin with but clippy being included in every copy of ms.
Office was essentially advertised to everyone who used it it s like 404 is error reports and the broken image icon. We don t remember them because we found them endearing. But because they were part of the experience clippy is instantly recognizable design and trademark line do nothing. But help him to be memorable in this way.
There s plenty of debate over just where exactly cliffy went wrong atteberry his creator believe that it was how could be acted since clippy never learned from the user to become personalised in any way..
And would continuously offer the same help over and over again. He was impersonal making him difficult for users to bond with in my experience with cliffy. Though i d have to say that it s because could be really isn t all that helpful he could offer a few options to ask questions. But anything past his pre planned responses and all it offered was a search tool for the help topics not guided assistance looking at clip ejs.
An online implementation of these characters. There are plenty of features for them that went unused things like moving around the screen and pointing it on screen elements it looked like microsoft intended ms. Agents to interact with the computer directly in front of the user. But all of this was left out of the office assistants.
Heck you could argue that bonzi bunny literal malware was a better implementation of microsoft social interface than clippy just because bonzi buddy actually attempted to interact with your computer. With you i d go as far to say that most people who hate clippy. Nowadays just like him ironically even microsoft seems less keen on making fun of him now. Including him as an easter egg in the microsoft office themed school supplies making him the main character of the game ribbon hero.
Too and even giving cortana. A few things to say about him in fact one could even say that cortana. An assistant based on natural language. Requests is microsoft finally achieving the dream of their software aging characters from years ago.
20 years later cortana is just clippy done right ipod. It s bob welcome to the future hey bob. I don t think you wanna scream would you like me to help you okay doc take me back please i ll change my chinos. ” .
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“A long time ago I made a video on Clippy, the nearly universally hated paperclip from Microsoft Office. I figured now was a good time for an update.nnPlay the flash game here!nwww.gamesbob.com/xtractpaperclipnnAnd check out ClippyJS:nhttps://www.smore.com/clippy-jsnnClips used in order of appearance:nThe Kid s Guide to the Internet (0:54) – youtube.com/watch?v=A81IwlDeV6cn12 old mac ads (1:13) – youtube.com/watch?v=VaZgtQRmunAnComputer Chronicles UNIX (1:32) – youtube.com/watch?v=WKq3FoSC2oAnPeedy the Parrot: Interactive Music Assistant (1:35) – kurlander.net/DJ/Videos/PeedyVideo.shtmlnBill Gates CES 95 Keynote Featuring Peedy the Parrot (2:56) – kurlander.net/DJ/Videos/PeedyCES95Video.shtmlnX-Tract Paperclip game (6:29) – youtube.com/watch?v=dw_bvVhMJMYnMicrosoft Office XP Ad 1/3 Clippy Gets Clipped (6:33) – youtube.com/watch?v=tu_Pzuwy-JYnDelta Heavy – Ghost (7:42) – youtube.com/watch?v=b4taIpALfAonMicrosoft Office Assistant – SNL (7:45) – youtube.com/watch?v=EpWbTogEEhgnAgent Animated Characters Showcase-Bonzin (9:16) – youtube.com/watch?v=cpOjIQppuH0nRibbon Hero 2-Clippy s Second Chance.wmv (9:41) – youtube.com/watch?v=5zxF6XhtyJwnSiri vs Cortana Groundhog Day (Commercial) (9:47) – youtube.com/watch?v=bh3Qp40zupInMicrosoft Goes Back to the Future (10:05) – youtube.com/watch?v=B2G4Y_IaKTI”,
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