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Microsoft still plans to add the beautiful 3D emoji missing from Windows 11

Microsoft is working on improving its 2D emoji with a proper three-dimensional version according to one of the operating system’s designers.

A LinkedIn post from Microsoft’s Nando Costa, explaining how Microsoft came to design its “fluent emoji”, details the work behind the scenes on the more expressive emoji system.

Given the amount of work Microsoft went to in beautifying the characters with a unique flavour, it’s surprising it dropped the 3D element for a flattened approach.

The piece itself is deeply interesting for emoji enthusiasts, but the kicker comes with Costa’s response to a tweet about his piece. It makes clear Microsoft is still working towards bringing true 3D emoji to Windows 11 in a future update.

Reader @EthanAlvaree said: “Lovely. Wish they actually looked like this on Windows 11.” To that, Costa replied “Thank you and agreed! We’re working on that.”

There was no timescale mentioned for actually rolling out the 3D versions of the emoji, or why Costa and his team decided to ditch them for the original Windows 11 launch last year.

The blog post itself explains how Microsoft sought to make its People category more humanistic, while being representative of a diverse set of characteristics and staying true to the emoji system. Not an easy task!

Microsoft face emoji

In the blog post, he added: “It came down to our third, and final iteration for the people category to sing!” Costa writes. “We had reached an aesthetic balance between the graphical look and feel we wanted, and the utterly important human qualities we needed. In this final version, the head shape came in three different types: genderless, female and male (as seen below). Each creates enough space for variations of skin tone, hair, and facial hair to easily work as a connected system, while also standing apart.”

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