Microsoft’s gallery had an aesthetic, to be sure, and it wasn’t high art. But these images, cheesy as they are, were also incredibly useful in their time. It wasn’t easy to quickly find images in the dial-up age, and an entire industry of CD-ROMs you could buy for $50+ tried to fill that niche. You could buy those, or you could stick with what you already had: Microsoft’s clip art.
It’s not hard to find images to use online – just use an image search. This works well, but it’s worth noting that doing so isn’t necessarily legal. Most of the images you can find this way are owned by their original creators. This likely doesn’t matter if you’re only using something for private use, or even a school assignment, but if you intend to publish a work you need to make sure all rights are cleared.
If clip art appeals to you for its retro feel, you might also like pixel art. You can create some yourself with pixel art tools The 11 Best Pixel Art Tools to Create Pixel Perfect Artwork The 11 Best Pixel Art Tools to Create Pixel Perfect Artwork Do you want to try your hand at creating pixel perfect artwork? These pixel art tools will help you get started. Read More .
There has been talk about removing Microsoft Office completely, since OpenOffice and Google has free "equivalent" products. My school district has already removed Microsoft Office from classroom student computers. Only teacher computers and computer lab computers have Microsoft installed. The future of Microsoft Office looks bleak! Their motto must be, "One step forward, two steps back!"
Is there a potential downside? Yes. Just because a search engine sees something as Creative Commons doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Here at MakeUseOf, for example, we’ve had at least one photographer threaten to sue us over an image he didn’t realize he himself licensed as Creative Content. He backed down when we pointed this out, and it’s one example resulting from thousands of blog posts spread over a decade, but know that this isn’t without risk.
My school district doesn't allow students to access anything except Google; therefore, clipart is useless. More and more school districts and companies are blocking applications and websites to prevent access to inappropriate images and content. My first and second graders have always loved doing PowerPoints; however, with clipart no longer working, they cannot do these projects any longer. Older students access Google images to get graphics for their projects.