The next Windows 11 update brings Clippy back along with other redesigned emoji

Some of Windows 11's new emoji designs.
Enlarge / Some of Windows 11’s new emoji designs.

Microsoft

We’re almost two months away from the official release of Windows 11, and Microsoft is still slowly updating parts of the operating system that were not quite ready in early October. Microsoft announced redesigned emoji back in July, and the next Windows update (version 22000.348, if you track this kind of thing) adds these emoji to Windows 11.

The new emoji removes the bold black outlines of Windows 10-era designs and changes the colors and shapes of a few to make them better match Apple’s, Google’s and Samsung’s glyphs – compare the new Spiral Shell design to the old one , for example. There are also a few cute Microsoft-specific details, like a Clippy design for the paper clip emoji, though Ninja Cat seems to have been removed completely.

A selection of the old Windows 10-style emoji (left) and Windows 11 redesigns.  The new versions drop the thick contours, so now they all look brighter and brighter.

A selection of the old Windows 10-style emoji (left) and Windows 11 redesigns. The new versions drop the thick contours, so now they all look brighter and brighter.

These emoji use the basic designs that Microsoft unveiled earlier this year – but without animation or “3D” touches, such as added depth and color gradients. The Verge speculates that this is a limitation of the vector graphics format that Microsoft uses to display emoji in Windows – using vector graphics can reduce file sizes while making it much easier to scale the size of emoji up and down without losing sharpness or details, but it also works best with flat colors. We may still see the 3D animated emoji in other Microsoft apps, such as Teams.

You can get the new emoji designs now if you install the optional cumulative November 2021 update for Windows 11 from Windows Update; this update will be installed automatically next month. Windows 10 users will not get the new emoji designs.

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