Microsoft on Monday announced the Office.com Clip Art emporium has finally and officially been closed. The library of corny 90s imagery will instead be replaced by Bing Images, so your presentations will no longer look like they were drawn up by a newspaper cartoonist. Clip Art has become a ubiquitous part of Office’s history, but as the productivity suite has evolved, Microsoft finally saw fit to abandon the years-old notebook doodles.
By utilizing Bing Images, Microsoft can tap into higher quality pictures that are more up-to-date and part of the Creative Commons licensing system. Instead of cheesy drawings of old clamshell cellphones, now your presentations and dissertations will be filled with more modern devices. Images based on Creative Commons can freely be used, shared or modified for personal or commercial use.
Microsoft’s Doug Thomas said usage of Office’s image library had been on the decline anyway, with people becoming more reliant on search engines. With programs like Word, Outlook and Powerpoint 2013, you’ll see an option for Insert>Online Pictures to use the Bing Images Search. It’s the end of an era, and I’m a little sad to see Microsoft’s library closing up for good. Maybe one day they’ll show up as emoticons in Windows Phone.