A flock of “birds.” (Via Emojipedia)
Today is an important day in emojiverse history. With the launch of Windows 10 comes an updated set of everyone’s favorite illustrated characters. And with that updated set comes the first major implementation of the middle finger emoji. Yes, it’s finally here.
We first learned about the specimen in question in June 2014, when our emoji overlords — a little-known regulatory group named the Unicode Consortium—released Unicode 7. Whenever the UC approves a new set of standards for symbols and characters, major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Adobe almost always fully incorporate them into their operating systems. In this particular update the consortium opted to add more than 200 new emoji. Tucked in alongside the “Om Symbol” and the “Beamed Descending Musical Notes” was “Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended.” Also known as the middle finger.
The tech companies were not amused. As they adopted the new standards, all of them quietly left the middle finger out. This was clearly by choice and not general lethargy; Apple’s recent rush to implement newer and more diverse emoji under pressure shows it can easily add new illustrated characters whenever needed. The middle finger was snubbed simply for being … well, itself. And the Internet, which had wholly celebrated its premiere, was left without a convenient way to express this particular sentiment via text or Twitter.
That is, until this week’s launch of Windows 10. Because we are living in a new era of edgy, devil-may-care Microsoft, where everyone wears a Hololens and flips each other off with abandon. Do your pathetic Apple and Android phones let you do that? No! I didn’t think so. So watch out, world. Microsoft Windows 10 is here, and it’s giving you the middle finger.
The bad news? Microsoft declined to include the symbol among the hundreds of emoji on the Windows 10 onscreen keyboard. The only way to deploy the bird is to copy and paste the image into apps, says Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge. Even then, it won’t work with every program, or may only show up as a text outline in apps like Microsoft Word or Notepad.
“To the best of our testing, the full Windows 10 middle finger emoji only works in Microsoft Edge,” says Burge. “Windows’ color emoji support is still very spotty.”