Emoji FacesSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's new 2D emoji are rolling out on Windows 11.
  • The company has clarified where 2D and 3D emoji will appear.
  • Windows 10 will not be getting any new emoji.

Back in July, Microsoft unveiled a new set of emoji designs that it said would be shipping its products going forward. At the time, the company only showcased new "3D" designs, setting the expectation that this is what emoji were going to look like going forward in Windows 11, Teams, Office, and other Microsoft products and services. Unfortunately, when Microsoft began testing the new emoji in Windows 11 last month, it wasn't with the 3D designs Microsoft had promised.

This caused an uproar in the tech space, as people were genuinely excited to try them out, and some were even willing to upgrade to Windows 11 because of them. But, with the new emoji design now beginning to rollout globally on Windows 11, it appears we're only getting 2D versions of those 3D designs, which are quite a bit less exciting.

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Emoji Panel New Emoji HeroSource: Microsoft

Now, Microsoft spokespeople have said that the company lacked clarity about where the 3D emoji would actually be showing up. When they were announced, it came across as if they'd be showing up everywhere, but today the company has confirmed that 3D emoji will only appear inside apps that support them, not as the native emoji designs for the Windows 11 OS. This means you'll see 3D emoji designs in apps like Microsoft Teams and Skype, but the OS itself will use 2D emoji designs by default.

Microsoft has also confirmed that these new 2D emoji are only available for Windows 11, with seemingly no plans to bring updated emoji designs to Windows 10 customers.

Microsoft says the new 2D emoji designs are beginning to rollout to all Windows 11 customers now, and can be downloaded by manually initiating the November update preview release that should be waiting in Windows Update.

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