Microsoft is making its Fluent-style emoji available in Windows 11 this week. A new optional update for the operating system is now rolling out that includes a number of important bug fixes and the new Microsoft emoji previewed earlier this year. While this is a whole new style, it’s not the 3D look Microsoft previously promised – the company has gone 2D instead.
Windows 11’s new emoji includes the return of Clippy, as Microsoft replaced the standard paperclip emoji with its Clippy character. Emoji have also been redesigned to include bright, saturated colors, but lack the 3D aspects that made them stand out.
“The new emoji style is only available in Windows 11 and is in 2D,” Microsoft says in a low-key update to its July design blog. “We always have an assortment of emojis [sic] for Windows 10 customers. This same blog post still points out that Microsoft “has gone for 3D designs over 2D and has chosen to animate the majority of our emoji.”
It’s not clear if we’ll ever see the awesome 3D emoji inside Windows 11 that Microsoft introduced earlier this year. The lack of 3D could be related to technical limitations of Microsoft’s color font format the company uses to display emoji in Windows. While Apple uses bitmaps to render its emoji, Microsoft uses a vector format which is much more scalable and has file size advantages if the emoji are flatter.
We still expect 3D and animated versions of these Fluent emoji to appear in products like Microsoft Teams, but if you want the new emoji in Windows, you will have to upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft has made it clear that this is not the case. not the case. I’m not planning on bringing this new emoji to Windows 10.