Clippy is back as a Cortana Easter egg in Windows Phone 8.1

Clippy, the infamous "assistant" who kept popping up to see users of older Office programs needed help, just won't go away. First, Microsoft put him in the free Office Online on April Fools' Day, and now he has appeared as an Easter egg in the recently released developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1.

The hidden Clippy was discovered by a member of the Windows Phone Central forums who asked Cortana if she liked Clippy. Cortana apparently has a couple of responses to that inquiry. such as, "What's not to like? That guy took a heck of a beating and he's still smiling," as well as, "Definitely. He taught me how important it is to listen." The Cortana circular avatar then turns into Clippy himself. Spooky.

While Clippy was seen as a major annoyance to Office users years ago, the character has since become more lovable, thanks in part to nostalgia for the earlier days of personal computing. Today, we have Cortana as Microsoft's first major step in creating a digital assistant since Clippy, and it's already a massive improvement.

Source: Windows Phone Central forums

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49 Comments

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well, this is microsoft which well known for inconsistent standing.
almost a decade ago microsoft said there wont be any Easter egg for 'Trustworthy Computing' compliance.

blogs.msdn.com/b/larryosterman/archive/2005/10/21/483608.aspx

A large number of people leaving comments (and others) didn't understand why the OS division has a "no Easter Eggs" policy.

If you think about this, it's not really that surprising.
One of the aspects of Trustworthy Computing is that you can trust what's on your computer. Part of that means that there's absolutely NOTHING on your computer that isn't planned.

If the manufacturer of the software that's on every desktop in your company can't stop their developers from sneaking undocumented features into the product
(even features as relatively benign as an Easter Egg),

how can you be sure that they've not snuck some other undocumented feature into the code?


Edited by Torolol, Apr 17 2014, 12:35am :

Panda X said,
I thought Microsoft stopped doing easter eggs.

That was my initial thought. However this is just providing an answer so doesn't really violate Trustworthy Computing guidelines laid out years ago.

Panda X said,
I thought Microsoft stopped doing easter eggs.
Yes, because they were undocumented features. But in this case, how can you document all conversations possible with Cortana? It's im-possible.

Every time I ask her things like this she just searches Bing for the phrase. I've looked for settings and have searched around but I'm not finding anything. Anyone else run into this?

I'm sure they are still working out bugs with the recognition, for now you can always type in what you want, even though thats not ideal

STPhastPhaser said,
It does the same thing when I type it in. Simply searches Bing.

Hence she is still a beta. :) There are a few commands like searching email that sometimes go to bing results.

The only pattern I can find is based on the previous action/search, as she contextually continues the 'conversation'. If you go back to her 'home' screen, she usually gets the request right.

Yeah, I'm in the US. I can get her to call or text people and I've had her remind me of something but everything else I've tried she simply searches for.

"What's not to like? The guy took a heck of a beating and he's still smiling"
Hahahhahaha. This has just made my day!

I asked her if she knows Clippy and she responded "We're facebook friends, but he's so chatty" haha love that response! She didn't turn into clippy though even when I asked do you like clippy.

Well they made some funny things in there. BUt when I ask her to stop playing the music she just searchs online. I have to tell her to "Stop Music" ..A lot for work there for the team

I have activated clippy on my work XP machine (currently upgrading software and I can tell you it is a distressing job) and while he's cute, I'm going to turn him off.

It's my personal funeral for the win95 type experience.
Long live win 8!

Lingwo said,
ahhh Clippy. When my old Pentium 2 233 used the lock up. I knew it was because you were trying to load!

Clippy is probably the best example of a "usability feature" going terribly wrong.

I love the fact that Easter eggs are being allowed again (unless these recent Clippy ones are all there is). Trustworthy Computing made Microsoft's software secure but also boring as hell.

Romero said,
I love the fact that Easter eggs are being allowed again (unless these recent Clippy ones are all there is). Trustworthy Computing made Microsoft's software secure but also boring as hell.

No, that's just the culture.

Audien said,
No, that's just the culture.
Yes, because each and every one of the thousands of people working there are all boring and dull. /s

Most developers love to insert some fun stuff for their users to find and enjoy but unfortunately can't due to security considerations.

Romero said,
Yes, because each and every one of the thousands of people working there are all boring and dull. /s

Most developers love to insert some fun stuff for their users to find and enjoy but unfortunately can't due to security considerations.

Do you work at the company? If you're in a different department I'd love to hear! I can tell you I've never not considered adding something like that because of "security considerations".