After retiring good old Clippy, Microsoft now also removes its two decade old Clip Art gallery with vector art from its Office Suite. The clip art will be replaced with a Bing Images search box, allowing you to search royalty-free Creative Commons images on the web.
Microsoft explains this move with a single sentence: “Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines.” Fair enough — and really, with most clip art harking back from the 1990s or earlier, and online search engines becoming scarily proficient at finding high-quality art, it’s no surprise that people just aren’t using clip art any more. Clip art comes from a time when computers had limited memory, storage space, and low screen resolution; back then, simple vector art made sense. Today, with high-resolution displays everywhere and ample processing power in even the wussiest of smartphones to render bitmap images, clip art just doesn’t have the appeal that it once had.