Have you met Clippy yet? Chances are you may have not met him before. Clippy is the infamous character-like emoji by Microsoft Office. That googly-eyed paper clip that once hopped out of the corner of the computer screen to help users with Microsoft Office tasks. Clippy hasn’t had an easy life, many Office users cringed whenever the Microsoft cartoon delivered cheerily obvious messages like: “It looks like you’re writing a letter.” Microsoft’s iconic character appeared for the first time in Windows 97 as a small paper clip and was given the boot by Office 2007.
Clippy will now replace the paperclip emoji that exists across Windows, Office, Microsoft Teams, and other Microsoft 365 products. Clippy has been redesigned in 3D emoji to add a lot more personality. These personalities would convey emotion to what would otherwise have been a lifeless computer-based interaction. This is part of a bigger update that will usher about 1,800 3D-designed emoji in Microsoft apps and services, which will roll out later this year. This move is in line with its new design language, Fluent, which the company calls brighter, vibrant, and more human. Microsoft imagines the 3D design will uplift and make people happy.
Microsoft teased the return of Clippy in a tweet, afterwards this social campaign gathering impressive numbers of likes. This effort to resurrect Clippy signaled Microsoft’s renewed focus on fun while at work. Microsoft thinks emoji is an important communication tool and an extension of our humanity, being playful or highly expressive doesn’t come easily to everyone, but using emoji could be a perfect little helper. In a study conducted by Microsoft, it was found 57% of people believe emojis in the workplace are professional as they help humanize conversations. Emoji are often used as tools to lighten or intensify tones, express playfulness, or enhance expression.
The big change with Microsoft’s emoji is that these emojis will show up across Windows and elsewhere. Claire Anderson, Microsoft’s official “Emoji-ologist says “We opted for 3D designs over 2D and chose to animate the majority of our emoji,”. The emoji has been redesigned in 3D to include bright and saturated colors, with a focus on fun in the workplace. The 3D element really makes them pop, and they look a lot more modern than those currently available in Windows. Anderson explains
Microsoft didn’t leave out capturing the many moods and challenges of those working from home, a new normal as a result of the pandemic. The company added at least five new emojis to capture the majority of moods in these set: a “you’re on mute” emoji, an image of someone multitasking with their arms going everywhere, a “business on top and pajamas on the bottom” emoji, someone with a cat in front of the screen and a person holding a baby and lots more
The refreshed emoji will start to appear across all of Microsoft 365 in the coming months. Flipgrid will get access to the new emoji next month, with Microsoft Teams and Windows getting updated in the holiday season. Yammer, Outlook, and other Office apps will see the emoji updates soon after. Read more about Microsoft