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Microsoft lets you flip the bird with new emojis

I'm beginning to rediscover my long-lost love for Microsoft. The company will add a couple of new emoji in its mid-2015 patch, and those include the middle finger – in all skin tones.

Emojipedia (opens in new tab), which first spotted the change – hilariously describes the emoji as a “reversed hand with middle finger extended”.

They could have also named it a shovel.

The middle finger emoji was approved by Unicode, the computer industry standard responsible for emoji in 2014, but Microsoft is the first company to embrace the lewd gesture as part of its emoji keyboard, Mashable (opens in new tab)says.

As with Apple, Microsoft will also include racially diverse emoji, however its default skin tone is not the LEGO yellow (or Simpsons yellow, however you like it). Instead, the default skin tone will be alien grey.

“Taking on board the Unicode recommendation that the default skin tone of emoji people should be generic (nonhuman) in appearance, Windows now displays gray-skinned people as the race-neutral default,” Emojipedia writes. “This is used when no specific skin tone is chosen.”

Many human emojis in Windows use the bald-man character, which neatly avoids the issue of hair colour altogether.

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Windows 10 will also include a few other changes to give emoji more cross-platform consistency. Most importantly, the "information desk" emoji will also be updated to resemble Apple's version, but Windows 10 takes the sass a step further by adding a tiny wink to the left eye.

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There’s still no flag support though, with Windows displaying a two-letter regional code for each country instead.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.