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Microsoft's paper-clip assistant killed in Denver
October 16, 1998
Web posted at 3:25 PM EDT
by Bob Trott
-- DENVER -- An auditorium hall full of Windows developers witnessed an
execution at the Professional Developers Conference here Wednesday, as
Microsoft product managers coolly and deliberately killed the Microsoft
The assistant, a paper clip with expressive eyes and hyperactive eyebrows
that offers user tips, has been the source of wide scorn among developers,
who have little use for its cuteness and intrusiveness. The assistant's
demise triggered a hearty round of applause.
Brian Valentine, general manager of the Application and Tools Group at Microsoft,
and product manager Tom Rizzo showed developers how to get rid of the agent
with a line of Visual Basic code that Microsoft will post to its Web site
In the demonstration, Rizzo clicked on a menu that offered the option
"kill the assistant." After choosing that option, the paper clip said,
"I'm melting, I'm melting," and then disappeared.
"Good riddance," one unidentified developer commented to a colleague
after the deed was done.