What is Microsoft Agent?

Microsoft Agent was a technology developed by Microsoft that allows for users to interact with animated characters inside applications and web pages. It used text to speech engines to allow the animated characters to speak to the end user. These animated characters were called "Microsoft Agents". It came preinstalled with Windows beginning with Windows 98. Microsoft Agent continued to release alongside all Windows versions until Windows 7 in 2009, following Microsoft's discontinuation of Microsoft Agent. The latest release of Microsoft Agent was version 2.0 on October 12th, 1998.

Microsoft Agent allowed for users of the software to make characters through the Microsoft Agent Character Editor. Four default characters were made by Microsoft on the original page, including Genie, Merlin, Peedy, and Robby. Some other notable characters are those featured in the Microsoft Office suite throughout 1997 to 2003, including Clippy, Dot, or Office Logo. The Windows XP search assistants are also Microsoft Agents, including Rover. Another mentionable Microsoft Agent is Bonzi, a purple gorilla that came bundled BonziBUDDY until its discontinuation. The Bonzi character later received a lot of attention after being a meme following multiple meme videos on it before a streamer eventually streamed an XP destruction causing the popularity of the Bonzi character to rise.

Character downloads