Microsoft Memorializes Clippy by Making It an Emoji

In jail no longer, Clippy will finally be set free as an emoji across Microsoft’s apps.

Clippy has been officially memorialized as an emoji.
Clippy has been officially memorialized as an emoji.
Image: Microsoft

Clippy, the hero of Microsoft Office, is now an emoji.

Microsoft introduced a suite of new emoji to celebrate World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing, and it’s July 17), and while they’re all fun, perhaps only millennials will truly understand Clippy’s significance.

In a Medium blog penned by the Microsoft design team’s Claire Anderson, the company teased the reimagined glyphs. The post also offered up a bit of background on the philosophy behind the new emoji.

From the blog:

Even before the pandemic obscured the lines between work and life, notions of professionalism had been evolving toward emotional honesty and playfulness. To ensure our new designs reflected this, design researcher Meghan Stockdale worked closely with us to rethink graphical expressions of professionalism.

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The emoji shown off in the header of the blog are a far departure from the emoji that currently exist in Windows 10. They exude playfulness, which is frankly not something Microsoft has been known for throughout its multi-decade history. They also look like they’ll match the upcoming Windows 11 update, which is in itself a reimagined interpretation of the productivity-focused operating system.

An image showing rows and rows of the new Microsoft emoji
The new Microsoft emoji are so fun, you might want to ditch work early to go out and play.
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft design team has been working to refresh its 1,888 emoji over the past year. They opted for three-dimensional looks over two-dimensional ones and chose to animate a majority of them. I can even see the Skype influence in the heart-eyes emoji shown off in Microsoft’s preview video, if you recall the days of the intensely animated emoji available within the app.

Clippy, the animated paperclip from Microsoft Office’s past, also gets its long-overdue tribute. The new emoji replaces the static, boring paperclip emoji for a seemingly sentient one with bulging eyes. No word on whether selecting the clipboard emoji will cause the little buddy to pop up and ask to assist you.

You can now access some of the new Microsoft emoji in Flipgrid, a video chat app for students and educators. Microsoft Teams and Windows will see the new emoji this holiday season, while Yammer, Outlook, and other apps will get their updates in 2022.

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