Microsoft Ends Clip Art - Part of the 90s gone

Published: December 2, 2014 7:02 PM /



Sometimes in this world, we must all stand up to sad news. The moment when we find out that no, Santa Clause is not real. The moment when we realize that no, no one is infallible in life. Sometimes there are moments of business decisions that resonate more emotionally then they do with rational feelings as well.

Geocities was one such event – it had largely died but its impact on the web time before it was undeniable. From a business perspective, it was inevitable as it cost more and had few returns. From a technology stand point it was even more inevitable due to blogs and particularly easy set up ones like wordpress coming to dominate the market.

For years, students, satirists, and others using Microsoft Word have relied upon a simple feature to help them resolve quick and dirty image problems. We were badgered by Clippy to do it, we were frustrated when what we wanted wasn’t there, and generally had a love/hate relationship with it.

I am of course speaking of Clip Art, the newest casualty in the Internet Wars. Microsoft Clip Art has been unceremoniously closed by Microsoft to instead be replaced by the most basic of options – a Search Engine. Yes, our dear friend of clip art, with his own style has been replaced with, of all things Bing image search.

The Bing Image Search uses a copyright filter system which does make dealing with the loss a bit easier. It looks at pictures copyright based on Creative Commons License and you can filter them based on the options for using commercially or not, modifying or not, or if it is public domain. This will mean more time checking to make sure that in those cases you have the copyright correct for your specified purpose of using it, and going through to double check the license rules.

So farewell old friend, we will have to see the descendants you have spawned upon the internet and inspired others to keep your style alive into a new era. Farewell, and we will see you in a world with old friends again that have left us before.

What do you think of Microsoft removing Clip Art? Do you think this is long overdue with the increasing uses of search engines or a sad day?


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