In July, Microsoft announced on Twitter that if their Cropped image garnered over 20,000 likes, the paper clip emoji will be thrown in favor of the controversial office assistant. Attracting nostalgia-filled Clippy fans, the post has amassed 173,400 likes to date.
A day later, Microsoft confirmed that Clippy would be added to its new 3D emoji collection. “We opted for 3D designs over 2D and opted to animate the majority of our emoji,” a Microsoft representative told The Verge. Fast forward to the end of November and the new emojis are now available on Windows 11, but unfortunately they are neither 3D nor animated.
Microsoft introduces fluid emojis
Microsoft’s new collection of expressive images is called “Fluent Emojis” – a nod to Windows 11’s new fluid design language which Microsoft says is cohesive, harmonious and cohesive.
“These new Fluent-style emoji released today in Windows 11 feel personal and familiar, two of our Windows 11 design principles,” said Judy Safran-Aasen, Microsoft program manager for the Windows design team.
As mentioned, these are not animated 3D images as Microsoft promised. These are 2D emojis with a softer look and more punchy colors. The Verge suspects Microsoft abandoned the idea of 3D due to “technical limitations”. Unlike Apple, which uses bitmaps to display emojis, Microsoft uses a vector format to display emojis. This format offers benefits such as smaller file sizes and easy scalability – something Microsoft probably isn’t willing to sacrifice for 3D animated emojis.
Unfortunately for Windows 10 users, the new Fluent Emoji Collection is only rolling out to Windows 11. “We’re still offering an assortment of emojis for Windows 10 customers,” Microsoft said in an update on its Medium blog. In other words, if Windows 10 users want the new Fluent Emoji collection, they’ll need to update to Windows 11. Otherwise, they’re stuck with current-gen emojis.
However, three-dimensional emojis aren’t entirely out of the question. Microsoft may add a 3D version to Microsoft Teams and other products in the future.
To get the new Fluent Emoji update, go to Settings > Update and security > Windows Update and select Check for updates.