Clip Art No More: Microsoft No Longer Offering Stock Images Because No One Uses It

clipartDecember 1, 2014 saw the end of an era. It was on that day that monolithic, computer company Microsoft stopped providing one of their most famous products and services — Clip Art.

In a declarative blog, the Microsoft Office 365 team said, “The Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices (phones, tablets, and PCs), OneDrive, and SharePoint. Customers also still have the ability to add images to their documents using Bing Image Search.”

In other words, users should get their art from Bing instead of Clip Art.

For years, Microsoft users could quickly snag a cartoony graphic for a Word document or PowerPoint presentation from the Clip Art library. At a time when getting images was still difficult, it was an immensely useful feature. However, the Internet has more or less eliminated the need for included stock art.

In recent years, Microsoft moved the Clip Art library to a portal, which people hadn’t even been using. Instead, they were mainly relying on Google’s image search.

Of course, using Google’s image search for graphics and photos could get users into trouble with copyright laws. Instead, Microsoft suggests users use its own search engine, Bing, to get images.

Though a rather unsubtle attempt to garner more Bing users, Microsoft does make a good case. It writes, “Bing Image Search uses a copyright filter based on the Creative Commons licensing system. The results that are returned are images that have been tagged with Creative Commons licenses. A link to the source of the image is provided, which you should use to review the source of the image and the applicable license to determine whether your use will comply with the license.”

So goodnight, Clip Art. You were useful. At one point in time. Sort of.

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