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Microsoft is replacing Office’s Clip Art feature with Bing Images

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Microsoft has announced that the expansive Clip Art library that has long been associated with the company’s Office productivity software suite is being done away with, according to Venture Beat. From now on, people looking for royalty-free images to use in Office applications will have to do so via Microsoft’s own Bing Images.

A mere 82 of the abstract, fuzzy illustrations were built into Word 6.0 back in 1996, but the library eventually came to include more than 100,000 images, both static and animated. While this was exceptionally useful back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the rise of search engines has dramatically decreased people’s reliance on the built-in image library.

“Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines,” said Microsoft in a blog post, as quoted by Tech Crunch. “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.”

Most references to Clip Art were removed in Microsoft’s newest release of Office back in 2013, but users were still able to insert old-school images into documents using an Office.com Clip Art option. Now it’s being entirely replaced by a version of Bing Images that uses the Creative Commons licensing system for personal or commercial use, according to The Verge.

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