Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing Chat has drawn comparisons to Clippy, the virtual assistant from Microsoft Office 97. Now, a new unauthorized app called Clippy by Firecube has surfaced on the Microsoft Store.
This app utilizes Microsoft’s animated paper clip character, Clippy (or Clippit), as a front end for ChatGPT 3.5, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI. While the app acknowledges that it is not affiliated with Microsoft to avoid potential legal issues, it has gained attention due to the nostalgic appeal of Clippy.
Clippy, also known as the Microsoft Paperclip, was a part of Office for Windows 97 until 2003. It was one of several Office Assistant characters, including The Genius, Power Pup, and Scribble.
However, Clippy was eventually phased out in Office XP. Despite its initial unpopularity, Clippy has attained a cult status in popular culture, and the paperclip emoji in Windows is still represented by Clippy by default.
It’s worth noting that Clippy by Firecube is unlikely to have a long lifespan, as Microsoft is expected to introduce Windows Copilot, a more advanced AI assistant, sometime soon. Windows Copilot will have deeper integration with the Windows operating system compared to Clippy by Firecube, which essentially functions as a ChatGPT interface.
A screenshot published by Firecube demonstrates that Clippy’s interface can provide guidance on changing the Windows background, but Windows Copilot is anticipated to perform such tasks directly.
Another distinction between the two AI bots lies in their personalities. Microsoft has had a complicated history of injecting personality into its chatbots, but Windows Copilot is expected to be a no-nonsense assistant. In contrast, Clippy was intentionally designed to be helpful and will likely maintain that characteristic.
Clippy by Firecube is a free app but requires an API key for access, which can be obtained from OpenAI’s website. While the signup process is free and offers a trial, the Clippy by Firecube app consumes free credits associated with the API key.
Users must also trust the app as they provide a paid token to the publisher. On the other hand, Windows Copilot is expected to be entirely free, similar to Bing Chat.
In conclusion, if you’re seeking a nostalgic trip down memory lane and don’t mind a quick setup process, Clippy by Firecube could be an option. However, it is important to recognize that Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Copilot will likely offer a more comprehensive and integrated AI experience.