Future Tense

It’s a Sad Day: Clip Art Is Dead

Even in death Clip Art still has a sense of humor.

Screencap of Office.com

Winamp is dead. Google Reader is dead. But today’s loss is almost too much to bear. Microsoft announced that it is killing Clip Art. The wave of emotions (may Google Wave also rest in peace) is hard to control.

Microsoft is swapping the Clip Art library for integration with Bing image search, allowing Office Suite users to easily insert photos and images with a creative commons license into their projects and documents. Microsoft explains, “The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines.”

But it’s hard to say goodbye to the little vector images that scaled so perfectly in our first slide decks and work reports. They added lightness and variety in the early years, and then transitioned effortlessly when we all started using them ironically.

Perhaps it’s true that actual Clip Art usage declined in Microsoft’s services, but it never declined in our hearts.