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Submission + - The Secret Origins of Microsoft Office's Clippy (

Harry writes: "Most folks think that Microsoft Office's Clippy, Microsoft Bob, and Windows XP's Search Assistant dog were perverse jokes--but a dozen years' worth of patent filings shows that Microsoft took the concept of animated software "helpers" really, really seriously, even long after everyone else realized it was a bad idea. And the drawings those patents contain are weirdly fascinating."
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The Secret Origins of Microsoft Office's Clippy

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