Skip to main content

Microsoft’s Clippy finally lands on latest Windows 11 build as an emoji

Microsoft’s iconic Clippy assistant for Office is making a big comeback on Windows 11, but in another form. Rather than bringing back Clippy as another digital assistant, the iconic character will instead replace the standard paperclip emoji in Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system. Clippy’s return is part of Microsoft’s latest November 2021 Windows 11 Insider preview build. Along with Clippy, there are also a number of new emojis that Microsoft is showing off.

The new emoji style that Microsoft is bringing to Windows 11 through this latest optional software update sports a 2D appearance compared to the 3D styles that were previously previewed. The company claims that the new emoji were created using its new Fluent design style, and its team of designers worked to make emoji scalable.

Clippy returns to Windows 11 as an emoji.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“These new Fluent-style emoji being released in Windows 11 today feel personal and familiar, two of our Windows 11 design principles,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post highlighting Clippy’s return and the importance of the use of emoji in communication. “A team of emoji designers, program managers, font experts, and developers focused on creating this new emoji system. From color palettes to modular features, designers built out a system that would scale to the expansive set of Unicode emoji. Windows 11 now offers a more modern and expressive emoji to use in your hybrid communications, allowing you to add fun, expression, and personality to your communications.”

The company had previously stated that it would be switching from 3D emoji to 2D emoji earlier this summer ahead of the launch of Windows 11, noting that it will animate many of the emoji on its platforms. With the new Windows 11 2D emoji, Microsoft is opting for a more modernized style, with bold colors and a simple, minimalist look to the emoji.

In a previous blog post, the company stated that these emoji will be exclusive to Windows 11, so Windows 10 users who won’t be upgrading to the latest OS will be out of luck.

According to technology publication The Verge, Microsoft may have had to resort to 2D styling because of technical limitations in what it is trying to achieve with its emoji and the color font format. Instead of using bitmaps like rival Apple, Microsoft is using vector formats to render its emoji, which provide benefits such as easy scalability and reduced file sizes when flatter, 2D images are used. And while 3D emoji may not make a systemwide appearance now that Microsoft has shown off its 2D emoji, The Verge still expects 3D and animated emoji to appear in some specific products, like Microsoft’s Teams app.

Microsoft is also working on fixing some widely publicized bugs that affect the operating system’s performance.

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: finally time to upgrade?
The screen of the Surface Pro 9.

Windows 11 is the newest version of Windows, and it's one of the best Windows versions released. At launch, the operating system was very similar to Windows 10, but it has morphed a lot over the past several years. Now, Windows 11 has several key differences compared to Windows 10.

If you've been holding out on upgrading, we have everything you need to know about Windows 11 and how it's different than Windows 10 in this article. We'll detail the differences, as well as show you the areas where Windows 11 is growing faster than Windows 10.
Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: what's new

Read more
The best Windows 11 themes we’ve tried so far this year
One of the wallpapers from the Windows 11 sunset theme.

If you've just upgraded to the latest version of the Windows operating system, Windows 11, you're probably ready to dive in and customize its appearance. A quick way to customize Windows 11 is by adding a theme. Don't know where to start looking for great Windows 11 themes? Below, you will find some of our current favorite themes for the Windows 11 OS and why we enjoy them.
Explore native Windows 11 themes first

Windows 11 itself represents a significant change in design, exchanging the Windows 10 look for more rounded edges, less-crowded menu screens, and a streamlined, friendly appearance. Part of this design includes new themes specifically made for Windows 11, and we suggest starting your theme search here. These themes are expertly designed, don’t require any additional downloads, and look great.

Read more
Windows 11 24H2 or Windows 12? Here’s what’s coming soon
A laptop running Windows 11.

Windows 11 is more than a few years old and it is getting feature drops called "moments" every so often, as well as yearly updates. But what about the whole new Windows release that will come after Windows 11?

Earlier leaks from Intel and Qualcomm made mention of Windows 12, leading some to believe that Windows 12 might be in development at Microsoft and could come in 2024.

Read more