Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

A minority of people are missing Windows helper animations... but that's not going to be enough to bring them back.

Have you heard any rumors about Microsoft making the Office Assistant available again as a download for Windows 7? We miss our doggy and pussycat!

In this excerpt from Answercast #32, I reminisce about Windows old application animations... that don't seem to be well missed.

Virtual assistants

Sorry to disappoint but Rover and the kitty (along with everybody's whipping boy, Clippy) I am absolutely convinced... are long gone. They are now things of parodies and humor sites... not to be seen again in Windows at any time soon.

Small minority!

Believe me, if you miss the dog and the cat, you are in a very small minority.

Most people found them incredibly annoying and as a result, (you can tell) Microsoft ended up pulling them long ago.

  • So, nope, sorry, they're not coming back!

Next from Answercast 32 – How do I get my wireless to run faster?

Article C5551 - July 5, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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11 Comments
Dennis Blackburn
July 5, 2012 4:23 PM

I did hear of an add on for web sites that will allow Clippy et al to show up if you are using Internet Explorer when you visit the page.

V
July 5, 2012 7:08 PM

I wonder if there are any mods available to add them back in... it's an interesting thought.

Ken B
July 6, 2012 7:23 AM

Reminds me of a few "User Friendly" comic strips:

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20070211

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20000108

Daniel
July 6, 2012 9:00 AM

I'm surprised I'm in the minority here. I found them to be useful and (at times) entertaining.

NL_Derek
July 6, 2012 2:44 PM

You might also view:
http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/744.html
Enjoy!
--- Derek

Gord Campbell
July 6, 2012 2:47 PM

Just Google: "clippy must die"

Carol
July 6, 2012 2:50 PM

I liked them very much and am also surprised to be in the minority. I still use Office 2003 so I still had them until I got a new computer with Win 7. There is a "hotfix" on the Microsoft web site to make them work for Win 7 but haven't tried it because I need a newer version of Office. I sure miss the Kitty hanging out on my desktop....

Mike W.
July 8, 2012 8:15 AM

This is exactly why I still use Microsoft Office 2003 and have never upgraded to the latest and greatest. I love the kitten in Word 2003! I also am running Windows XP SP3 and will continue to do so long after 2014 when Microsoft will end support. I reinstall the OS once per year (incredibly easy - I do not know why people hesitate to do this) My Dell Dimension 2004 (just installed a new HDD and replaced the CMOS battery) runs like new! My PC and Windows XP more than meets my needs. I also have Verizon broadband and my wife and I do a lot of streaming from Netflix - all excellent quality! She also has a Dell Dimension (2004) which runs like new. The point that I am trying to make is that our PCs, Windows XP and Office 2003 more than meets our needs and everything runs like we bought it yesterday. BTW I work for the State of Maryland. Most State employees (including myself) are still running Windows 2000 at work! On a personal level I wish the State would upgrade to Windows XP but Windows 2000 does meet our needs at work.

BAW30s
July 17, 2012 10:21 AM

Well, my informal surveys suggest that the general public liked them a lot more than did the computerati with whom Microsoft interacts most of the time. The article led me to mention Clippy to my ladyfriend, and she missed him greatly: luckily she still has Office 2003, so it was possible to resurrect him. Her little grandson also finds him entertaining.
Rover originated in Microsoft's most maligned project, MS Bob. It is interesting to note that Bob emerged in 1995 and was intended as a replacement for the Windows 3.1 program manager. In those days when the more user-friendly graphical user interface was starting to replace text-based DOS Microsoft must have been wondering how far to take it. Bob was the logical extreme: no commands, no menus, not even any icons - just a house to wander around with items to click on (eg a bureau if you wanted to write a letter) guided by a dog called Rover! Bob was ridiculed by experts, but its concept of family friendly computing suggests to me another world which might have been. What if the interface had continued to develop along this avenue, perhaps using landscapes as a metaphor for the mind?
Of course, MS did maintain separate strands of development for home and corporate users for several years thereafter, before combining the two in XP - and there are still "Home editions" of its systems.
Personally, I do wonder if we are getting too serious and missing some of the fun in computing. I used to enjoy the Plus98 themes and games, but such things seem to be going out of fashion. Even email stationery is seldom seen these days, although I think back to the fun I had ten years ago with a friend and her 12 year old daughter composing spooky stationery for Halloween complete with the Monster Mash as a musical background using the wizard in Outlook Express.
Oh for the innocent joys of yore!

iva
March 1, 2013 5:16 PM

Well, I like the assistant as well, and all of my relatives and friends did, so I am surprised. It was cute.

Kitten S
April 9, 2013 7:10 AM

I didn't know who Clippy was until i installed office xp last year, but i have known rover since the first time i used a pc (it had xp), known links since i used office 2003 and the search in xp. But theyre stilll not gone today-i am using windows and office 2000 in a virtual machine and

im only 11 as of 6 feb 2013 people!

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