There are plenty of reasons why you might not be rushing out to upgrade to Windows 11. Emojis might be low on that list, but the fact that Microsoft isn’t delivering on the three-dimensional pop-out emoji it promised us months ago is not a great sign.
The latest build for Windows 11 Insiders includes redesigned emoji, but they look nothing like the ones that Microsoft showed off during the OS’s original reveal. The new emojis are flat and decidedly less colorful than the 3D ones previewed earlier this year, which looked like a cross between the original Windows emoji and the animated Skype ones.
If you’re running the public version of Windows 11 right now, you won’t see the emojis until they’re officially pushed out. But folks running the Insider version are less than pleased, especially since Microsoft made a big to-do about its redesigned its emoji, including why it chose to make them pop out instead of sit flat against the background like other operating systems. They called the new emoji “innately fun, innately fluent,” and there was even a video to celebrate “the diversity of shapes and expressions” in the new characters. But none of those emoji appear in the lineup on Windows 11.
According to a tweet from Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager on the Windows Insider Program Team, those 3D emoji aren’t coming to Windows 11 anytime soon. One user replied feeling scammed by the sudden change, considering the official Windows UK account tweeted an image featuring the same emoji missing from the build only a few days ago. In a follow-up tweet, LeBlanc added that the account had swapped out graphics and that there was nothing more to share on where the new emoji would appear.
Understandably, this is all a little grating for users who were promised one experience and received another. There are some theories that Microsoft is holding back on the 3D emoji due to their relative inaccessibility, as they might be hard to parse for folks with vision impairments, in which case, it’s a good thing for the company to go back to the drawing board.
At the very least, Microsoft kept its promise to bring Clippy on as an emoji. The beloved mascot appears in the Insider Build with his signature crooked smile and bewildered expression—a beacon of calm in a wild world.