In this article, Michale Meeks of Novell claims that Clippy is a great example of why people should adopt open source. Here is the snippet that caught my eye...
...You couldn't turn it off and it came on and you had to talk to it before you came on.
Now turning Clippy off, in my estimation, is a single line of code change. With Microsoft you just couldn't do that. You couldn't get into their software, find the piece of code and...
...just fix it. If you think about the software cost of some catastrophic blunder, often it would be way cheaper if you could just get in and fix it. I think that is a huge benefit of the free-software industry.
Say what???? Now, I will readily admit that the Clippy fiasco was a long time ago so I may not remember things clearly, but this seems like hyperbole of the greatest order. Yes, Clippy showed up the first time you started Office. However, and this is a big however, you could turn Clippy off by changing your options. I saw Clippy once, hated him, and immediately turned him off and never saw him again. So to imply that a) you were stuck with him is totally wrong, and b) that somehow recompiling your source code is easier than checking an option box is somehow better seems ridiculous.
Now, if I don't remember this correctly then apologies to Michael. But I do know that I never used Clippy and he spent about 10 seconds on my screen. So the only thing I could be wrong about was how difficult it was to turn him off, but I am pretty sure it was just an option check box. Of course, you could also choose to not install Clippy as well.