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Windows 11 may get the 3D emojis we were promised

Microsoft shipped new emojis in Windows 11 last year, but they caused quite some controversy as the emojis weren’t actually 3D as the company first teased. There was never an explanation for that change in design, but it is now looking as though the originally promised 3D emoji could still be in the works.

Though Microsoft itself hasn’t recently said anything about 3D emoji on its official channels, one of its employees sent indications about it. In a response to a tweet from a Windows 11 user lamenting the lack of 3D emoji, Nando Costa, who is the visual artist and design leader at Microsoft Design, said: “Thank you and agreed! We’re working on that.”

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Windows 11's redesigned emoji on an orange background.

This goes back to what happened in November 2021. At that time, Microsoft admitted to Windows Central that it lacked clarity about where 3D emojis would show up. The company indicated that 3D emoji will only show up in apps that support them, such as Microsoft Teams or Skype. It’s more than likely that Costa’s tweet is referring to this, as rolling out 3D emoji to all of Windows and all of its platforms might be quite the task for the company, according to The Verge.

Either way, it’s the first time in a while that a Microsoft employee has spoken about the topic. Another Microsoft employee, Brandon LeBlanc, who is a product manager on the Windows Insider Program, also commented on this issue, pointing to the Microsoft Design Blog for more details.

Microsoft put a lot of thought into its emoji redesign, even if the emoji are just 2D. In a LinkedIn post, Costa talks about the long journey of upgrading Windows’ emoji. Costa says the emoji are more personal and familiar. He also revealed that Microsoft used tools like Adobe Illustrator and Font Lab in the design process

There still might not be a solid date for when you can expect 3D emoji in Windows 11, but Costa did indicate on LinkedIn that the team will “continue creating new designs every year.” We’ll let you be the judge on what that means, but for now, 2D emoji and Clippy might have to do.

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