Science and Tech


Microsoft Kills Off Clip Art, Adds Bing Image Search

Microsoft, in a blog post, announced the shuttering of its clip art library. Instead, users are instructed to use Bing Image Search to find clip art.
Posted at 7:07 AM, Dec 02, 2014

Gone are the days of peculiar, oversaturated clip art gracing the pages of your Microsoft Word documents.

Microsoft announced — via a now-removed blog post — its clip art library is no more. Instead, it’s directing users to find royalty-free images through its Bing Image Search.

It's unclear why the company removed the original blog post, but support pages still confirm the end of Microsoft's clip art.

Microsoft says its Bing Image tool provides up-to-date images at higher qualities than the clip art media of yesteryear.

Bing will also help you filter out copyright-protected images. That way the presentation you’re working on — you know, the one full of business people shaking hands — won’t get you in trouble.

The move is in response to usage patterns within Microsoft’s Office suite. Simply put: fewer people are using Office’s Clip Art library, and more are using search engines to track down the perfect image. 

And given Microsoft Office's recent “Office Everywhere” initiative, it makes sense the company would want a more reliable, modern image library for its Office products — on iPhone, on Android, or on any number of PCs. 

In the end, we think a writer for Slate provides the perfect obituary for the awkward little images. 

“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.”

This video includes images from ClkerMicrosoft and Flazingo Photos / CC BY SA 2.0.