Clippy asks for pity

Justice has finally been served in the world of Microsoft Corp. and we’re not talking antitrust law. When it created Windows XP, the software giant axed Clippy, that annoying, bug-eyed paperclip. Now the persistent office assistant that had been irritating Microsoft Office users since Windows 97 is begging for work on

Here’s your chance to vent your frustrations with the disruptive and always-eager-to-teach animated piece of metal. You can vote for his next career move (Should he become a lock pick or a metal band member?), listen to his bluesy and sorrowful song It Looks Like You’re Writing a Letter, and read his snappy, trendy quotes (“At least I’m not a sock puppet” and “Does this Web site make me look fat?”). The site also features three streaming videos starring Clippy, his parents and siblings, and the IS characters who can’t stand him.

After a while, you might even begin to feel bad for the helper that tormented anyone computer-literate enough to use a mouse. He assumes that XP stands for ex-paperclip without realizing the letters represent experience. He even sheds a few tears.

But losing his job isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to Clippy. To promote the XP launch, he’s portrayed on the Web site by Gilbert Gottfried, the entertainer whose nasal, ear-splitting voice has been featured in commercials and movies, including Disney’s Aladdin.

Sometimes a clip can’t get a break.

– Sarah Johnson