Microsoft just replaced its toy gun emoji with a real handgun

“Microsoft this week replaced a toy gun emoji with a real revolver in an apparent need to conform to universal emoji standards.,” Nick Statt reports for The Verge.

“The change, which arrived with the company’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is part of a larger emoji redesign project Microsoft embarked on months ago to refresh its library with new designs,” Statt reports. “‘It’s unclear why Microsoft felt the need to replace its old toy gun, which resembled a sci-fi space blaster, with a real firearm. It does, however, put the company at philosophical odds with Apple.”

“Both companies are part of the Unicode Consortium, the technical organization that oversees emoji standards so that they translate equitably across devices and mobile operating systems,” Statt reports. “Each company can tailor how its own emoji characters appear to users, and Microsoft decided it made more sense to use a real gun rather than a toy one.”

Microsoft's old "gun" emoji (left) and the new one (right)
Microsoft’s old “gun” emoji (left) and the new one (right)


Current iOS handgun emoji (left) and Apple's replacement, a green squirt gun (right)
Current iOS handgun emoji (left) and Apple’s replacement, a green squirt gun (right)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is right. Apple is wrong.

Great, now we need a 🍸, a 🍸, a 🍸, and a couple of 🍺🍺, at the very least.

Which, after the acquiescent Tim Cook gets a letter from Alcoholics Anonymous, will read to the rest of the world:
Great, now we need a 🍭, a 🍭, a 🍭, and a couple of 🍼🍼, at the very least.

Nothing, especially guns, should be improperly translated when sent from one system to another lest you get results like:

Gun emoji danger

Apple and the (squirt) gun emoji – August 4, 2016
In wake of London stabbing rampage, will Apple replace their knife emoji with a plastic spork? – August 4, 2016
Open Thread: Should Apple code their OSes to block video games that glorify guns and murder? – August 3, 2016
Apple jumps the shark by removing the handgun emoji; Gun owners might want to reconsider buying Apple’s products – August 3, 2016
Apple removes handgun emoji, replaces it with a squirt gun – August 1, 2016
Apple’s politics may be hurting its brand – June 29, 2016
Apple quashes rifle Emoji – June 20, 2016


  1. i dislike msft in most things but I actually like their old Ray Gun design the most.

    Not a ‘real gun ‘ (which means pacifist won’t scream) but has more ‘spunk’ than apple’s tepid water pistol.

    1. I like their ray gun too. I have a retro calendar on my wall of 1950s B-movie posters, and July’s page is “Teenagers from Outer Space” (1959), complete with pompadours and sneers—and that emblematic ray gun turning nubile girls into skeletons. Horrors!

      1. Ammosexuals. NRA fetishists. Truly pathetic. Go ahead- reinforce the sickest and most ignorant among us. Republican/Trump groupies. Then again, it’s all kid stuff for dim bulbs. Emojis, Pokemon. Stupid society. “Would you like an emoji with your duckface?…”

      1. It isn’t even just libtards, it’s nerds of every stripe and star poking each other in the eye. But you’re right, it’s time to get out the popcorn. Even though it’s fattening…

    1. No, you’re FOS.

      “Nothing, especially guns, should be improperly translated when sent from one system to another.”

      That’s perfectly reasonable and in-line with thousands of years of written communication systems.

    2. I concur. There is no right and wrong in this case. Where was all of this angst when Microsoft was using a toy gun emoji? Answer me that. Now they suddenly change…who is playing the political game here? It is Microsoft.

      This whole emoji kerfuffle is simply an extension of the extremist left/right bull rap in this country, as well as the amazing efficacy of the NRA to embed their agenda into the public consciousness.

      1. Here’s the thing about Dem/Lib/Progs: They fall in love with unworkable ideas that look good on paper or at first glance. Republicans are actually pragmatic, think things through as to how they would work in the real world, with real people in the equation, and will only go for ideas that adhere to the Constitution and actually have at least some chance of working.

        Your dream of a utopia with prancing unicorns farting rainbows DOES NOT EXIST. As long as you continue to ignore reality, you’ll never come up with reasonable solutions to real life issues. You sound like a three-year-old who’s been watching way too much Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

        We get it: Most of us would like a perfect world. News Flash: That doesn’t exist on this planet. Some of us understand that implicitly.

        Adults should deal with reality. Take away guns and some humans will kill each other with pressure cookers, poison, butter knives – whatever they can get their hands on (actually they do this already, even with guns still in existence). In short: Get real, pajama boy, or STFU with your mollycoddled Obama-esque “NRA agenda” pablum and let the adults take care of this.

        Australians and disarmed subjects in other countries like China, North Korea, France, etc. are sitting ducks. They are a controlled populace. They are, in the end, doomed. (Until the USA saves them from themselves again, of course.)

        The reason for The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is to protect citizens against an oppressive government. The ability to shoot criminals and terrorists in the face is just a side benefit.

        The sooner you illogical gun control nuts figure that out, the better.

        1. You keep writing diatribes about mythical “liberals” that somehow embody all that is wrong. And you somehow seem to believe that the words that you spew embody all that is right. You guys thump the Constitution like a Bible when it suits you, and violate the heck out of it when that better fulfills your goals. News flash – neither liberals nor conservatives have the answers. And the sooner that *you* and your ilk figure that out, the better.

          You assume that you way is the right way for several reasons:
          1) You attempt to block any effort to develop quantitative data on key issues
          2) You discount all information that is collected, no matter how rigorous the methodology.
          3) When a contradiction exists between actual evidence and your opinion, then gut feel takes precedence.
          4) Liberal (pun intended) use of the label and disparage strategy. You ridicule what you cannot refute.
          5) Incredibly selective and editable memories…you rewrite history where it suits you and ignore it where the facts are too obvious to warp. What ever happened to Dubya? But I still hear about Reagan!
          6) Incredible degrees of hypocrisy…I actually heard a Republican discount Bush-era events as being irrelevant because they were “history.” He then turned right around in the next sentence and used Bill Clinton era “history” to justify his position. And that is a mild example.
          7) Utter avoidance. I have not seen one straight answer on a question about Trump. And in debates, GOP’ers ignore the questions and repeat their talking points ad nauseum.
          8) When all else fails, Republicans cry “squirrel” and attempt to divert attention elsewhere. Trump is really good at that. He says something incredibly crazy, then tops it the next day (or hour or minute).

          I am not a Republican (for example, I cannot abide a group that discounts good science). And I am not a Democrat (they have plenty of flaws of their own). Political parties are like organized religions, in my opinion. You are either with them in the entirety, or you are against them (sound like Bush, doesn’t it?). Since neither platform is good and both parties have screwed this country over the past few decades, I cannot support either. I wish that we either had no political parties or a larger number of viable political parties. Either way, we would have better dialog and debate and a better chance at compromise.

          The reason for the Second Amendment was to provide for armed militias to defend our country and our government. Only paranoid idiots like you are afraid of Uncle Sam.

          1. Thank you, King Mel, for answering F1416 better than I ever could. I especially want to point out that an “individual” right to bear arms was recognized by the Supreme Court FOR THE FIRST TIME in 2010, in a contentious 5-4 decision.

            The idea that the 2nd amendment had ANYTHING to do with “protecting citizens from an oppressive government” is absolute bullshit. It had more to do with having states pay for militias, as opposed to a large standing army. It had more to do with protecting the slave trade than any idea of a “citizen veto” of not-yet-existing central government.

            1. Thanks for the support. As you stated, the army dispersed once we won the Revolutionary War. The United States did not maintain a substantial standing army to my knowledge.

              The situation in the 1700s was much different. The Federal government was just starting out – it had very limited resources and had to slowly figure out how the new system of government was supposed to function. States and localities naturally took greater responsibility for their own defense. In those days, it could take weeks to transfer troops from another area within the colonies. People worked farms and trades full time, but would band together for common defense when threats arose. In modern times the police and other first responders take care of emergencies with FEMA as a backup for major disasters, the National Guard is layered over top, and the United States military provides for overall domestic defense.

              I am not against guns. I like them, actually. They are beautiful and refined mechanisms, and many display incredible engineering and craftsmanship. I have fired revolvers, semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I am not a hunter by nature and I did not grow up that way, but I fully support those who are. But we do not need a lot of armed civilians roaming the streets and college campuses of this nation. It is ridiculous.

              If, as Fwhaever (incorrectly) states, the reason for personal gun ownership is to defend against totalitarian action by an oppressive government, then there is no need to pack heat on a daily basis. There will be plenty of time to run home and get your weapons ready.

              If, as the Constitution states, the reason is to provide for militias then, again, there is no need to pack the heat on a daily basis. In modern times I think you will have plenty of notice of an impending invasion.

              If the reason is to protect yourself from public violence in general (most likely gun-related violence), then we need to take a step back and attempt to isolate the root cause rather than simply dispense an *unproven* (and unlikely) treatment to the problem. This is not the Old West. And even the Old West was not the glorified Old West that most people think of from the movies. Overall per capita violence is far lower in Europe than in the U.S. Recent data shows that gun-related homicide in the U.S. exceeds all forms of homicide (combined!) in Europe per capita. More guns in public places is a simplistic and flawed answer. We need to reduce violence in the U.S., in general, and gun violence is a significant part of that.

              I want to close by reminding everyone that all of our rights have practical and legal limits. There are limits to free speech, for example. The Second Amendment is not somehow excluded from reasonable limits. And while I firmly believe that the U.S. should always err towards lesser constraints lest the system gradually erode our personal rights, that does not mean no limits at all.

              The problem that I have with the GOP stance is as follows:
              1) They deny that there is a problem and block any scientific effort to attempt to quantify the situation
              2) They refuse to even consider reasonable and consistent measures for gun registration and background checks
              3) The NRA has its hand so far up the asses of our government officials (at all levels and political affiliations) that they refuse to act despite the majority opinion of the citizenry. Politicians are either paid off or scared into inaction.

              That’s the way that I see it. Others may disagree.

          2. Since (I think, I am not a historical expert on guns) all “arms” at that time referred to flint-lock long arms or pistols, maybe that’s all that should be allowed today. In that case, we wouldn’t have mass shootings, at least.

            I assume “arms” did not refer to other armaments, like cannons. Or, should the rights of everyone to own cannons be pressed? Or, to put in modern context, RPG’s are hand-held – why doesn’t the NRA fight for the right of everyone to own RPG’s?

            Such is the silliness when we try to make direct application from a document from another time in history, in a different culture, without a reasoned exploration of intent and meaning as determined by contextual and historical analysis.

            I appreciate KingMel’s argument.

            More reason, more deference and mutual respect for fellow citizens, less slinging of insults, please. In the end, we are all in this together (remember the pledge of allegiance? Indivisible). We have a long way to go, no doubt, for example, in “justice for all.” Let’s get on with it.

  2. Never thought I’d say this, but way to go, Microsoft!

    Apple went a step too far on this. Not talking about something or hiding something or misrepresenting something doesn’t make the issue disappear. That’s infantile thinking, if you can even call it thinking, on Apple’s part.

  3. When Microsoft gets it right and Apple gets it so horribly wrong, it’s time to start worrying.

    Tim Cook,

    Enough with the sanctimonious PC bullshit. Stop worrying about cartoons and start shipping some new Macs.


    Sane Mac Users Worldwide

    1. Fwhatever, you engage in hyperbole, as always, with your exaggeration of the depth of this error…it is hardly “horribly” wrong. Apple is, I believe, simply mistaken (with good intent) in this potential change. I must point out, this is *not* shipping software!

      I might also point out that you seem very concerned about “cartoons,” as you put it. Irony is biting sometimes. Refer to my earlier post about hypocrisy…

      I agree with you about the Mac situation. Apple has to do better in keeping its Mac lineup fresh and cutting edge. It is difficult to find common ground with you, but the fact that it is possible reveals some glimmer of hope for this country.

  4. What in the hell is going on at microsoft? Why would they even think to do this. They have enough business problems, do they think this will sell more software? Are you guys sure these CEOs are as smart as they are made out to be? This move is neither creative or innovative. So, what is it? And, what made it so necessary to do?

    Hey, you publicly traded companies, just pay the shareholder 80% of the profits per quarter before wasting any more it.

  5. “Microsoft this week replaced a toy gun emoji with a real revolver”

    1. It’s not a REAL gun, it’s pixels. (I can’t believe I really had to say that)
    2. So now we have a real looking toy gun (Apple) and a toy looking real gun (Microsoft)
    3. In both cases . . . who cares! They are just emojis.
    4. Apple and Microsoft are both right, MDN is wrong.

    1. 5. Microsoft still makes phones?!?!?
      6. Microsoft isn’t afraid to take a stand – because they have no customers to loose. When you are in that position, you do anything to make noise.

      1. Maybe because banks are all big PC customers? So if you’re going to rob it you need to be able to send them an accurate emoji. The teller won’t hand over money for a Squirt Gun.

  6. So now all of you who have unhealthy relationship with guns can go and buy a Microsoft crap instead and leave Apple alone and vote that Orangutan with a toupee.

  7. I’m fairly certain the second amendment doesn’t apply to emoji representations of guns.

    The companies can legally do what they like in this regards (obviously).

    Personally, I am not sure why an emoji of a gun is needed (we still can use words to describe things). Again, personally, we have enough violence in our lives. Do we really need another emoji representation of an object that is solely designed for violence (whether justified or not). By definition emojis represent emotions. What emotion does a gun represent? World, “Use your words.” If we are referring to guns in a normal conversation or dialogue, write “guns”, if it is an expression of violent anger – we are better off not using it. Personally, I think arguing for “gun rights” in emojis is silly. My taking time to argue against it might be interpreted by some the same way.

    1. We don’t need to eliminate it. We just need to go back to what the accepted meaning was before 2008, when District of Columbia v. Heller gave individual ownership constitutional protection.

      (I had it wrong in an earlier post, and said this was a 2010 decision. That decision merely extended the Heller ruling from Federal jurisdiction to the states.)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.