Blog: InlineManual to acquire Microsoft's Clippy

InlineManual to acquire Microsoft's Clippy

Marek Sotak
Company news

I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Clippy, the Microsoft's office assistant. Our mission is to create the best user experience for websites and applications by providing interactive inline tutorials. We are committed to hire the best and Clippy, who pioneered computer inline help (dated back to 1997) will help us with improving our services.

Microsoft removed Clippy from Office on April 11, 2001. Clippy wrote a post about this titled "My name is Clippy, and Office XP has me sweating (and rusting)". Lisa Gurry, a Microsoft product manager, said that "Office XP is so easy to use that Clippy is no longer necessary, or useful.". She claimed that new simplicity and ease-of-use improvements really made Clippy obsolete. It is believed that since removal of Clippy, Microsoft Office suite lost thousands of users.

Clippy was quite devastated back then, he had even started his own campaign to try to get his old job back, or find a new one. But with the amount of stress and pressure, he disappeared from the computer life.

In 2013, Microsoft tried to get him back, after they have realised (quite late again), what an impact theirs decision had on the Office user base. They gave Clippy a role in a game called Ribbon Hero 2. Clippy took the offer, but soon he realised, he is treated like a machine, a face, to bring old and new users back.

We have met Clippy hiding in an old Microsoft word, while we were launching a dust covered XP machine to read old documents, at the beginning of this year. After few minutes of chat we realised his real value, years of experience and his enthusiasm to help users. And because Clippy was very excited about InlineManual, he immediately asked us, whether it will be possible to work with us.

We didn't wait any longer and started the acquisition process immediately.

I’m looking forward to what InlineManual and Clippy can do together, and to helping many more users and developing great new user experience.

And now, please give a warm welcome to Clippy.