As mentioned yesterday, my personal crusade during my 6-month spell as a Microsoft Word team member, waged from my stronghold in Building 17 on the main "campus" in Redmond, was an effort to get "Clippy" removed from Word and other programs.

There's an aspect to the struggle that suggests that big organizations anywhere share certain traits, whether their product is "national security" (the Pentagon), a "harmonious society" (the Chinese Communist Party), or "great software" (Microsoft). One such trait is the effort of people up and down a bureaucratic hierarchy to guess at what the boss would "really" like, and do that -- even if the boss has never said so, and even if it's might not be what the boss actually has in mind.