I have found the one feature update that no-one has mentioned about Windows 11, the new emoji keyboard. All I can say is I 💖 the new layout and think it's hella 😎. The newest version of Windows was announced last week, but already the Windows 11 Insider Preview build has been released and we've been messing around with it since it dropped yesterday.
I chose to dual-boot my system so as not to wipe my existing install as things are bound to go wrong. Alan went all-in and just did an in situ update over his main rig, the mad man. It's a dangerous game; I've already discovered one of my current games, Snowrunner, isn't snowrunning on Windows 11.
Thankfully Football Manager 2021 is, or I'd be seriously 😡.
Given our penchant for the em-dash here at PC Gamer, the emoji keyboard has become something I rely upon with my standard Windows 10 machine. Everyone keeps telling me that Alt-codes are a thing, but I've never managed to get one to work, so it's either an auto-substitution in Google Docs or the trusty emoji keyboard.
Sadly in Windows 10 it's a tiny little thing, a wee black panel that almost seems to be ashamed of its own existence 😔. But not in Windows 11; if you hit the [Win] + [Period] keys it brings up a larger, smiley-enriched panel that also now offers you the option to throw GIFs into whatever dialogue box will accept them, too.
It's got that signiture Windows 11 curve to the panel, that little drop shadow beneath it, and the emojis are finally large enough that you actually see what they are. There are more of them too, or at least it definitely feels that way. The classic Ascii emotes, or Kaomojis, are way better laid out now for sure.
It was a real (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻ moment trying to dig those out of Google every time you wanted to express something in oldentime speak.
🤷♀️ I'm just happy that we've got an easy, better-looking way to mess up the formatting on our site and upset the eyeballs of so many people in one fell swoop. Thank you Windows 11🙏