Windows 11 emojigate rages on as Microsoft flaunts 3D turtles

3d Turtle
3d Turtle (Image credit: Microsoft)

Emoji Faces

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft promised Windows users some slick new 3D emoji by "holiday season" 2021.
  • Microsoft then provided them with 2D emoji, which has caused some users to lament being "robbed" of a dimension.
  • Now, Microsoft is back on Twitter, showcasing 3D turtles, and it's unclear what the intention is.

A long time ago, in a galaxy not at all far away (this one), Microsoft released a gigantic blog post showcasing over 1,800 bubbly, three-dimensional emoji. Even Clippy, the prodigal son of Redmond, was included in the 3D revolution. It was a big, joyous moment for Windows 11 users, until Microsoft flipped the script and gave its users 2D emoji without a clear explanation of its actions.

There was violence in the digital streets. Windows 11 users were furious and demanded to know why they'd been denied the glorious, artisanal 3D emoji they'd been teased with only months earlier. A Microsoft employee on Twitter claimed it was all a big misunderstanding and that Windows 11 was only getting 2D emoji, but other Twitter tweeters pointed to how the Windows UK Twitter contradicted that statement. People wanted concrete, unified answers across the board, and ideally 3D emoji to go along with those answers.

And just when the public uproar was starting to die down, on November 10, 2021, Microsoft reignited the flame with a tweet of a 3D turtle:

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One tweeter took Microsoft to task for the turtle post, saying "why are you still promoting the 3D emojis when the ones in Windows 11 will be flat?"

Confusion abounds. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on the matter. Hopefully there is clarity on the subject soon, in addition to some sweet, sweet 3D emoji. Until then, emojigate rages on.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • Anybody who is furious about this supposed "emojigate" should reconsider some life choices.
  • Like the choice to use Windows 11 if MS is just gonna swindle its users out of an entire dimension. The absolute nerve.
  • Safe to say most have moved on and not surprised by Microsoft anyways. Though kinda insulting that they are still releasing images that don't really reflect to the final product. They still hasn't explained themselves the reasoning behind this, either there is not enough good reason which is we only get silence to this matter, or they are indeed working on it but can't commit to say anything. But at least they should stop releasing this images for now considering they had a bad reaction from this previously. The issue here is Microsoft mixed marketing message, not exclusive to this "emojigate".
  • Probably that one little old lady who keeps downloading "Emoji Home" on her phone because she doesn't understand she doesn't need it for emoji.
  • I mean.. they've been posting these comparisons on their Instagram page for months now. I'm sure they'll enable the 3D ones in Windows eventually, if Teams & Loop can use these emojis in small sizes, no reason why Windows can't either. Anyway, if there's anything emoji-related to be pissed about, it's the lack of country flags. How did they STILL not include them in the re-design? They always had the latest emojis quickly, except for the country flags. Every other OS has them. Talk about 'inclusive' 🙄
  • Flags are a symbol, for symbol-minded people
    Thank you: George Carlin
  • Maybe it's my love for the Metro design language, but I prefer flat & square. I guess there's no way to truly please all.
  • I just assumed you'd be required to have a HoloLens to see the 3D emoji's.
  • Microsoft Loop still promotes 3D emoji and most people haven't noticed this yet. I don't care as much, but it's obvious lying and bad marketing practices. If you can't believe Microsoft to deliver 3D emoji they promised, what else comes in question? It's a matter of trust first and foremost.