Microsoft Just Made Its Emoji Open Source

It’s probably not what the open source community wanted from Microsoft, but it’s a nice gesture nonetheless.

How are you feeling as an emoji designer? if you think you can do a better job than the big businesses, now’s your chance; Microsoft has just open sourced all of its emoji, allowing users and businesses alike to remix them as they please.

Microsoft’s Emoji Become Open Source

The news broke on The Verge, which had an interview with Jon Friedman, Microsoft’s CVP of design and research. Friedman cites the shift in remote work as the main reason for making Microsoft’s 3D faces open for anyone to use:

Facial expression or body language was sort of disconnected from our communications… so we started to have these other rich conversations that were almost as engaged as the video conversations we were having. Emojis started to play a bigger and bigger role… and that enabled people to feel a little more comfortable with authentically reacting to things emotively.

Microsoft’s emoji range is quite extensive, with over 1,500 emoji ready to be used. Unfortunately, you can’t use every single emoji as part of this release; Microsoft still holds the license for the emoji that use its branding in any way. That includes the Clippy emoji, which is saddening news to possibly nobody.

If you want to get your emoji on, you can grab them from Figma or GitHub.

A Nice Gesture From Microsoft

It’s not often that Microsoft puts its tools out for others to use as they please, so news of its emoji line becoming open source is a surprise. And Friedman isn’t wrong; the shift to remote work has definitely seen a surge of emoji use as co-workers communicate on a daily basis online.

With this move, people and businesses can adapt and use Microsoft’s emoji as they please. Whether or not people will take Microsoft up on the offer, however, is yet to be seen.

A Thumbs-Up Emoji for Microsoft

With Microsoft’s emoji range now available to everyone, it’s good news for people who want to use and remix emoji in their work. Who knows; perhaps this move may even see Microsoft’s emoji become the de facto as people use it as liberally as they wish.

Read the full article here

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