Microsoft Teams adds nostalgic backgrounds — troll your co-workers with new Clippy theme

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams is unleashing a new set of nostalgia-stimulating backgrounds that would delight — or distress — Windows users who remember the Clippy era. Clippy, the OG virtual assistant who paved the way for Cortana, Siri and Alexa, was a polarizing paperclip featured on Microsoft Office.

Some found Clippy to be irksome, popping up at the most inopportune times to offer unsolicited advice. Others loved Clippy and still pine for its return. Whether you like Clippy or not, it's a pop-culture phenomenon that added a splash to the 90s. That's why Microsoft added a Clippy design, as well as a Solitaire and Paint theme, to its new collection of throwback backgrounds.

Microsoft Teams introduces new nostalgia backgrounds with Clippy, Solitaire and Paint themes

In a recent blog, Microsoft Teams announced that it launched a new collection of nostalgic backgrounds, giving users the opportunity to amaze (or annoy) their co-workers with Clippy lurking behind them during video calls.

"No, Clippy is not a part of Microsoft 365, but regardless, we can only hope that this high-definition portrait of it as your next Teams background will bring some levity to your next meeting," Microsoft said.

The Redmond-based tech giant also wanted to honor Microsoft Solitaire, which celebrated its 31st birthday in May. Microsoft boasted that Solitaire, which first appeared in Windows 3.0 in 1990, is one of the most played video games of all time; 35 million users still play Solitaire monthly.


Microsoft Teams background: Solitaire (Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the most satisfying aspects of playing Solitaire was its victory animation, which featured an inundation of cards spilling across the screen. To celebrate this beloved animation, Microsoft Teams added a Solitaire-inspired background to its collection.

Microsoft is also commemorating Paint, which was first introduced in November 1985 as part of the first version of Windows.

Microsoft Teams Paint

Microsoft Teams background: Paint (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft also included the default Windows XP desktop wallpaper to its new background collection. Here's a fun nugget of information: The stunning landscape image, which captured the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area of California's Wine Country, was taken in 1996 by Charles O'Rear. 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams background: XP wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

Whether you want to troll your co-workers with a Clippy background or give 'em a nice whiff of the early 2000's with XP's highly recognizable default wallpaper, you'll have fun with Microsoft Teams' new background collection.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!