Written by Peter Stevenson
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Friday, 28 May 2010

Following in the footsteps of giants such as Match.com and eHarmony, Microsoft have now ventured into the amorous world of online dating. Coined as Microsoft Match 3.1, the website promises all the usual benefits such as profile matching but with one crucial, make-or-break twist: the return of the paperclip.

Users of the Office suite will remember the affectionate yet often irritating desktop companion who delighted in interrupting your work and asking inane questions, assuming you were incapable of even basic human function. However, this time around he may just be the advice-laden sounding board you desperately need. Armed with a new propriety artificial intelligence system called I-Clip (TM), he can learn from you and your actions, and will respond accordingly. Thus the stationary love guru will be able to offer you help and advice, console you should things not go your way and indeed offer any opinion he sees fit.

The most promising aspect of the whole process will be the inclusion of a mobile-dedicated version of the site which will allow users to receive live and updated advice from the paperclip during their dates. An early review by Tim, 32 was very promising: "It was great. Even during our first drink at the bar I was able to convince my lady that I was a fellow dressage enthusiast what with all the information the paperclip was feeding me!"

One thing is clear - take it or leave it, I-Clip technology enters dating into a new technological era. Microsoft also promise future iterations of the software will include several of the familiar, old guises (such as the loveable dog) and a few new ones, including Marilyn Manson, Santa Claus and Sloth from the Goonies.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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