Cortana May Become Microsoft's New and Hopefully Less Annoying Clippy

By Darren Orf on at

Clippy was an idea ahead of its timeā€”just horribly executed. The overly friendly paper clip has since become an endless joke that even Microsoft rips on every once in awhile. But as Cortana's conquest across Windows 10 and the new Spartan browser continues, it seems the popular voice assistant will also be coming to Office.

According to The Verge's Microsoft news guru Tom Warren, the company is testing a "Work Assistant" app that will let people open, edit, and share content just with voice commands and Cortana. Citing sources familiar with the app's plan, Warren says Microsoft intends to bring the feature to both desktop and mobile.

But perhaps the most interesting implication is that the app might bring Cortana features to software platforms because of Microsoft's current multi-OS obsession of late. Warren explains:

Given Microsoft's recent launches of Office for iOS and Android, and a continued focus on making its services and apps available across all platforms, it shouldn't be surprising that Cortana will eventually make the leap. Business Insider reported in November that Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green confirmed Cortana will make its way to other operating systems, and Office integration is part of a number of plans for the digital assistant.

To say Cortana will be Clippy 2.0 isn't exactly accurate. Clippy was a bug-eyed paper clip who would butt in when it thought you needed help, whereas Cortana will most likely be a much more subtle and useful option. But nontheless is basically a similar idea of bringing automated help to Office. Hopefully this time around, Microsoft will actually be proud of the assistant they create. [The Verge]

Illustration by Sam Spratt