Microsoft increasingly has an emoji problem as the company’s Windows 10 operating system lacks the latest set of characters.
Emoji are, essentially, a special type of digital text. The characters are set out by an organisation called the Unicode Consortium, and are subsequently adopted by a variety of software companies — including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and others.
But Microsoft has been particularly slow to introduce new emoji as they come out and the keyboard in Windows 10 — which is where emoji would be accessed — does not have the option turned on by default.
Users of Windows 10 will be disappointed to find out that Microsoft has not shipped any of the new emoji from the most recent Unicode 8 version, that were first included in iPhones with Apple’s iOS 9.1 update back in October.
This means if an iOS users sent Windows Phone user a text with any of the new emoji, they wouldn’t be able to see them.
“Windows has fallen pretty far behind in emoji support compared to Google and Apple,” said Jeremy Burge, the founder of Emojipedia, a website that tracks the latest development in emoji. “[There is] no support for family combinations [and] no support for flags either.”
Microsoft has been an emoji trailblazer at times, however. The company was the first to introduce the “hand with middle finger raised” character, for example.
“I do wonder about Microsoft’s commitment to emoji,” Burge told Business Insider via email. “The built-in emoji keyboard for Windows 10 doesn’t even show all the supported emojis. Users need to use third party sites, like Emojipedia, to copy and paste diverse emojis on Windows.”
Apple, and more recently Google, have worked hard to include new emojis introduced in Unicode 8, the Unicode Foundation’s latest update, introducing everything from lions to mosques. Microsoft hasn’t, however, even in Windows 10.
“As of this week, the two main open source emoji projects Twemoji from Twitter, and Emoji One also support all the latest emoji features,” said Burge. “This leaves Microsoft behind in support.”
Business Insider has reached out to Microsoft to talk about the lack of emoji support in Windows 10. We will update the post when we hear back.
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