Microsoft has brought its much-maligned, and duly infamous, Clippy character back to life, and this time, like an emoticon in Office. Chippy is now all set to replace the paperclip emoji that had previously existed across Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Office, and even Windows in general. That’s not all, though, as the tech giant plans to update as many as 1,800 emoji in Microsoft 365, bringing in 3D designs and its own Fluent Design language.
Make Them Pop to Make Working “Fun”
The Clippy character seems to be the one that users can expect to look forward to the most, and Claire Anderson, the official “Emoji-ologist” (yes, that’s a thing) at Microsoft, seems mighty excited about the development, saying at an interview The Verge that during her childhood, the character looked to her “like a fun little Easter egg.” She further added that the company is counting on users’ “delight” when they got a so-called “dose of nostalgia”, when they put the paperclip in a Microsoft product and see the cute little emoji. The Groucho eyebrow-ed Clippy is all set to replace the “boring” paperclip.
Anderson further explained that the change is being brought over as part of a greater attempt to move from the conventional 2D designs to animate the “majority of our emoji” to 3D versions. Moreover, the redesigned emoji will feature brighter and more saturated colors, allowing for more fun while working. Additionally, the 3D element is such as to “make them pop.”
About half of the redesigned emoji will also get animated versions in other products like Microsoft Teams. She said that the firm has been inspired by Skype, and so, they wish to incorporate similar features into their own offering, to “bring to life for more of our users.”
Ups and Downs, But No Frivolity
Clippy, which had previously staged a weak attempt at a comeback around two years ago, when Microsoft Teams released a sticker pack which featured animated GIFs of the character, got trademarked by Microsoft Corp. just last month, after the company’s “brand police” had decided to take the sticker pack down since they didn’t approve of it.
Still, Anderson seems optimistic that this time will be different, as she says that emoji are “an important communication tool”, instead of being frivolous or ornamental, something many people consider them to be due to their bright designs and colors.
This new addition, though minor, might go a long way in supporting Microsoft’s ambitions to have a more “open design”, which refers to a different outlook towards designing systems, hardware, and softwares.
Source: The Verge