After a Twitter competition showed that people really wanted Clippy back, Microsoft finally delivered. A modern 3D recreation of the virtual Microsoft Office 97 assistant Clippy will now replace the flat paperclip emoji in Windows, Microsoft Word, and other Microsoft 365 apps. In addition, Microsoft is also refreshing the over 1,800 other emoji across Windows and its other services.
According to Microsoft, this refresh is coming because emoji have evolved over the past few years. The company’s new emoji in Windows and Microsoft 365 are now designed to be 3D rather than 2D and feel a bit more fluent. You can see some examples in the video below. Microsoft says it worked closely with design researcher Meghan Stockdale on the new designs, with the focus being the concept of play and “highly expressive.”
In other areas of the design of these emoji, Microsoft worked to use simple geometric shapes as part of the basis for each new emoji. The best example of this is the new octopus emoji, which was made out of circles and semi-circles to give it more personality and bring it back to life. It can be seen at around the 39-second mark in the video above.
“We wanted people to trust that our new emoji style would recognize their intentions and reflect their humanity. People aren’t perfect, and there is beauty in our originality,” said Claire Anderson, Art Director and Emojiologist at Microsoft.
In addition to refreshing the emoji in Windows, Microsoft is also working on five new emoji. These will help cover the realities of working from home. One shows someone multitasking in front of a PC, another shows a face with a muted microphone, another shows a webcam with tape on the lens, and a fourth shows a family in front of a PC.
Microsoft is planning to roll out these emoji across Microsoft 365 throughout this year. Some of the new emoji will be live in Flipgrid, and the rest will be coming in a few weeks. The set is also set to come to Teams and Windows within this holiday season. Yammer, Outlook, and other Microsoft 365 apps should get updated with the refresh throughout 2022.