The Iconic Product? Microsoft Bids Farewell to Clip Art

ChildrenTech giant Microsoft finally says goodbye to the expansive Clip Art library from its Office suite of software.

Iconic Picture Library

The move marks the end of an era of seemingly endless list of silhouettes, drawings, and photos that have helped many people bring life to a simple document.

Back in the ‘90s, students, teachers, and even business owners used Microsoft Office’s clip arts to add flair to invitations, sales presentations, essays, home works, and even business cards. A clip art search for “shapes,” “animals,” or “professions” was often used by some people who had no access to professional images.

But, those happy times have come to and end, as the company announced that it is replacing the function with a Bing image search.

“Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines,” Microsoft wrote in its blog post. “Bing Image Search has higher quality images that are more up-to-date. For example, searching for “cellphone” gives more variety and modern looking phones instead of the old-school bricks from Clip Art.”

In Favor of Bing Images

The image library has seen a steady decline in the past decade, as more and more people prefer high-resolution photos. Industry watchers believe that the old archive of clip arts is not as appealing as it used to be.

Microsoft explains that its new solution, Bing’s custom image search, will stock royalty-free images within Office applications.

When introduced in 1993, Clip Art library included only 82 images. As time goes by, the company shifted the portfolio online and hosts over 100,000 photos.

In the statement published by Microsoft, the company says users can still add photos to their documents, presentations, and other files they have saved to their gadgets.

Copyright Claims

Though Bing Image Search provides thousands of images, not all of them can be freely used. It uses a copyright filter, which is based on the Creative Commons licensing system.

People can use photos tagged with licenses, but under specific conditions. If a user were to know further details, clicking a link to the source of the image shows the information of the image’s license, and other terms and conditions.

Under Bing’s image usage rights, “public domain” means image creators have waived their rights to the fullest extended permitted by law. For “free to share and use commercially” option, people can share and use images for personal and commercial intentions. Changing or editing, however, is not allowed.

The “free to modify, share, and use” usage rights means people can use, share, and modify photos under certain conditions. Images are not available for commercial purposes.