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Tech Mascots: Tails, Fails and Hails

By Mark Milian - 2012-06-06T21:09:36Z

Photograph by Rick Maiman/Bloomberg

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Microsoft Clippy paper clip

<p>Unintentionally, Microsoft gave people a reason to hate paper clips. Clippy, the "helper" cartoon character in Office software, was despised for its nagging interruptions. Start a Word document with "Dear," and Clippy would interject: "I see you are writing a letter. Would you like some help?"</p> <p>Microsoft introduced companion pets, conducted focus groups and hired a Stanford University researcher as a consultant, all in the name of fixing Clippy. The company ultimately killed off the character in 2007.</p>