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Microsoft is first to let you flip the middle finger emoji

Technically Incorrect: One glorious part of the upcoming Windows 10 is the middle finger emoji, something that has been missing from iOS and Android.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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You know you'll want to use this, don't you? Microsoft screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

These are times when our means of self-expression are expanding beyond our means of thought.

We can take one simple sentiment and decide to text it, e-mail it or to communicate it with a symbol designed by a 4-year-old on a partly cloudy Tuesday.

Microsoft seems to understand that these symbols -- known as emoji -- need to comprise the full gamut of human emotion.

So, as part of the upcoming Windows 10 it's offering you the chance to emit the one symbol that your mind telepathically ejects at least once a day. Yes, the middle finger. That simple, direct digit that says: "Please, I don't like you very much at all." Windows 10, the next version of Microsoft's operating system, is due around the middle of the year.

The deliriously named Emojipedia noticed this joyous development and noted that this finger was actually approved as part of Unicode 7 (which isn't a planet far, far away) in 2014.

Somehow, the political correction facilitators behind Android and iOS have singularly failed to include one of humanity's most basic pieces of terminology: the bird flip.

Now Redmond has flown to the rescue with not just one middle finger, but six in various skin tones.

This is surely yet another example of how Microsoft wants to shed its stodge in favor of a little modernist chutzpah.

When respectable newspapers like the Guardian are already garlanded with the word "f***" as if it's the word "and," it's time that the digital vocabulary kept up with the times (and the Guardian). Or at least entered 1992.

A Microsoft spokeswoman told me: "Generally Microsoft includes the emoji icon characters in its products in support of the Unicode Standard, which provides a unique number for every character across platforms, programs, and languages, and has been adopted by most industry tech leaders. To the greatest extent possible, Microsoft does not make edits or exclusions to characters, in support of the Unicode Standard."

Yes, yes. But what about the middle finger? The spokeswoman added: "We are aligning with the latest Unicode Standard specifications, which includes this image."

We curse because we are. It's time the digital vernacular recognized that. And I fully expect Microsoft to use this emoji in its next ad mocking Apple.

Update, 11:37 a.m. PT: Added comment from Microsoft.