Following other tech companies, Microsoft is giving its pistol emoji an overhaul

After Apple, Google, and Facebook committed to changing the gun emoji on their platforms, Microsoft is following suit. Not wanting to be left out, Microsoft this week said that it will change its pistol emoji to "reflect our values and the feedback we've received." The new emoji more closely resembles a water gun than an actual gun.

Apple was the first to make a change to its gun emoji in 2016, and other tech companies have followed suit to less-realistic depictions following high-profile shootings in recent years. It's unclear when the new emoji will roll out to Windows users, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it arrive alongside the spring feature update or Redstone 5 later this year.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

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  • Yep, because that is where all our problems start. In the emoji keyboard.
  • The Pen is mightier than the Sword but pales in comparison to the Keyboard lol..
  • Lame. Glad we've turned into such a whiny little ****** society, that we have to change an emoji to be less offensive. Yet, MS has no problem with severe gun violence on their game system? Yup, better kill that emoji!
  • Just like Hollywood. Make trillions off gun movies. Lecture 'us' all about gun violence.
  • I miss the old ray gun looking emoji
  • Emoji don't kill people, real guns do. How about banning them instead?
  • Can't tell if you're trying to be funny, or not.
  • Being serious, speaking as a non-US citizen and seeing the news reports about all the recent gun violence
  • We have a problem with obesity too, which kills far more people than guns. Should we ban sugar as well?
  • Crickets...chirp chirp chirp
  • Don't worry... That's already happening with soda tax and limits on cup sizes.
  • People eat sugar themselves, but with guns people kill other people these are completely different.
  • But if sugar was banned, potentially over 100,000 people wouldn't die. Also sugar isn't a right so a ban on sugar would be a lot easier than a ban on guns. Between the numbers and ease of completion, banning sugar is a much better idea than banning guns.
  • You seem to think banning guns would be comparable to banning sugar, so you must be thinking it would be done to prevent gun suicides? I think it would be more about stopping people shooting others. That is not a big problem with sugar, as I can't recall a single case of sugar being used to attack and murder someone.
  • >You seem to think banning guns would be comparable to banning sugar No I think it would be more effective at saving more lives than banning firearms. >I think it would be more about stopping people shooting others. So what is it you care about more, human life in total, or just humans shooting at each other? >That is not a big problem with sugar Last I checked, 100,000 was a lot bigger of a number than 15,000. Furthermore, what evidence is there to suggest that in the U.S. eliminating every firearm (which is not only virtually impossible, but never done anywhere else) would stop the 15,000 deaths instead of just shifting them to another medium.
  • Well, that does appear to be the direction we're going in in the UK. Sugar's starting to be thought of as similar to tobacco and alcohol in that people need to be stopped from doing it. They won't ban these things right now, but they are moving in that direction by taxing punitively. Won't be long before you'll need to stand outside to drink a can of pop. Seriously, that is the direction of travel. Offering a sweet to a kid is already frowned upon, it'll be considered abuse before too long. As soon as they can breathalyse you for a sugar high, it'll be a driving offence too.
  • I don't think a ban on sugar should ever be allowed (or guns), but just like firearms or anything else, sometimes there needs to be limits. Like a a 20 oz bottle of Mt Dew (Baja Blast, sitting on my desk, lol) has 73g of sugar. That's absurd. Instead of taxing everything, they should just limit how much they can put in, Why 73g? They should be able to lower the sugar, without dumping in a bunch of artificial sweeteners. I'm not going to debate those, there's anough going on here.. But if they lowered those numbers, to make it just a little less sweet, that would make a big impact. It's not like I can just water it down, but if they're tweaking the recipe a little bit over time, that would be better. But since companies want you more addicted to their products than their competitors, they're not going to lower it. If the gov't just reigns them in a little, everyone is better off. Free market is good, but if you let corporations do whatever they want, they're gonna choose whatever makes them the most money, at anyone's expense. So "free" market is better than free market, lol
  • Non-US citizen here, im from Mexico, here is a defacto ban on gun ownership and the murder rate per year is 20K (about 15.5 per 100K Habitants) so baning guns dont stop gun violence (likewise baning drugs dont stop people for using it). what stops gun violence? I dont know and probably nobody knows. but I find the reasoning for owning guns logical, fist protection against a opresive goverment (the politics must know for whom they work) and second for personal protection (they say that police is a few minutes away, but most cases is few minutes too late)
  • I didn't realize that Mexico had a firearms ban, I can't believe I didn't know that. You're right, that does prove it doesn't work. Especially when our stupid gov't gives guns to drug runners... That was just dumb...
  • They don't, Mexico allows citizens to own a single firearm for self defense in the home. The laws are extremely strict, but it's not an outright ban. The only country I've ever found that outright bans it's citizens from owning a firearm is N.Korea.
  • Ah, ok. So an almost ban then. That sucks. We'll never see that here. It would end up very very bad if they tried to enforce such a thing in the US
  • So do knives, cars, or even fertilizer can kill people. There were several instances of people being killed with cars crashing into crowded street. The boston bombers used a home made bomb and some nails. You really think banning guns will stop a motivated, mentally sick person from hurting people?
  • Any distance between thought and deed will reduce the in-the-moment killings that are far more common that planned assassinations. It is also much less likely that a mugging or robbery will end up with a death if firearms are not involved. The relevance of sugar in such situations is far harder to understand though, at least for me.
  • I believe that guns are banned not because of "gun violence" (you can't ban violence at all - even bare hands can kill people and murder with bare hands would be much more painful and sadistic than fast kill with gun), but because it makes police life better and safer. Foremost reason for guns are banned here and there around the world because POLICE don't want to be killed with guns.
  • Except north Korea is the only country in the world where civilian gun ownership is outright banned. And look how well that worked out for them.
  • Totally unnecessary. If you're triggered (no pun intended) by the image of a gun, you have far deeper issues than a picture of a gun on your screen.
  • Im offended by the praying hands emoji considering how many people have died at the hands of religion. Microsoft, validate my outrage and get rid of it... im... OFFENDED!!!!
  • It's funny because Microsoft was the first one that started originally with the laser pistol instead of a real gun, bringing it back old school now, yay!
  • 🔫 from Gboard
  • I love how companies cite "our values" when it comes to these kind of changes but don't really bother to articulate what those values are. A gun in and of itself has no intrinsic value but rather what one does with it. This is philosophical nonsense.
  • Intrinsic value is "kill"
  • Not sure if you are being tongue in cheek. Obviously that is fallacious reasoning, but some might naively make that argument. No inanimate object has intrinsic meaning unless you are gnostic. But, to play along, why not change the bomb, bow and arrow, and the swords emojis? Same principle.
  • Would like to see the ratio of for vs against the gun emoji from their "feedback". Move along. No bias here. Just doing what everyone else is doing...
  • Wish they'd made a Halo gun instead. It doesn't represent a real gun and it looks a lot better than this trash.
  • Anyone that's "offended" by something they don't like need grow up instead of telling others that they can't communicate it. Microsoft should be EXPANDING our ways to communicate, not limiting them. Add the water pistol, but also add an AR, a semiautomatic handgun, a shotgun, a musket, a rifle, a bazooka, etc. As others here have mentioned, I find it quite telling that the progressives love telling us how bad guns are, but they make $ billions off them.
  • Murikans are so lame
  • totally should be a plasma pistol or a needler come on ms if you're not going to make a game with that halo ip at least put it to good use.
  • "Company values", appears to only apply to emojis. Unless of course MS is planning to remove all gun imagery from the Xbox.
  • good, there will be 8.38E-19 less shootings and 4.61E-17 less casualities
  • You gotta be kidding me! This is so dumb! 🔫🔫🔫🔫 Changing it is not going to make gun violence any better or worse.