Attaboy.ca

Over There (in the UK)

April 12, 2001 at 2 PM

The New York Times reveals

The New York Times reveals Microsoft’s advertising campaign for its new version of Office (registration required, but it's free, folks), a self-effacing attack on Clippy. For those not in the know, Clippy is that infuriating paperclip who has horrif—er, “helped” users of Microsoft Word by telling them answers to questions they didn’t ask and solutions to problems they didn’t have.

Clippy represents the apex of Microsoft’s attempts at intelligent software design. What they got instead was arrogant software design. Software that thinks it knows better, leading to hair-pulling Word users screaming obscenities at their computer. “NO! I don’t want to create a resumé automatically. Shut UP!”

We for one applaud Microsoft’s decision to abandon this regrettable foray into anthropomorphic computing. Now maybe if they stopped jamming their software with endless features that nobody asked for, they wouldn’t need animated stationery to tell people how to use them. How many of you have wrestled with Word over those squiggly, red lines that subtly tell you (insert polite female computer voice), “Something is not correct.”? Only half an hour later do you realize that Word never knew Canadian spellings in the first place.

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Previously: A penny for your thoughts,

Subsequently: With Bob Cole and Harry

April 2001
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