Despite being a staple of school presentations and announcements of days past, the Clip Art image gallery has finally been killed by Microsoft, banishing the stock images to history and replacing them with Bing’s image search.
Use of the library — which stored stock pictures, many of them drawn as cartoons — had slowed as people used the internet instead. Microsoft said yesterday that it had decided to shut the service down altogether.
"The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop," Microsoft announced on its blog. "Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines."
While Microsoft presented the change as a move in the way that Clip Art is powered (calling the blog post 'Clip Art now powered by Bing Images') the stick figures and tortured cartoons of days past are now gone.
The post announcing the end of Clip Art seemed to have disappeared this afternoon — though there was no sign of the return of the image library, either.
Microsoft recommends using Bing search, which is built in to Microsoft Office, instead. The built-in version has creative commons options switched on by default, meaning that the pictures can be dropped straight in even if they’re being used for commercial purposes.
The image search there "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," Microsoft said.