Earlier this week, Apple made waves with the revelation that in iOS 10, the forthcoming operating system update for iPhones and iPads, the existing revolver emoji would be replaced with a water gun.

Well, it turns out that with Microsoft actually went the exact other direction by changing its existing ray gun emoji to a revolver in the brand-new Windows 10 Anniversary Update.Here's Windows 10's old, cartoonish gun emoji left , and the new revolver emoji right :It's tempting to call it some kind of political stand on Microsoft's part.

While Apple hasn't commented, it's generally accepted that the change was made as a statement on America's gun violence epidemic.

But, taking a step back, it's actually another example of how Apple is forging its own path relative to the rest of the industry.Basically, the way any emoji come into existence is that an industry body called the Unicode Consortium agrees, after much back-and-forth, on a standard list of emoji that every participating vendor — including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much everybody else — has to support.That list is just a bunch of words, though, describing what the emoji should look like, for instance "FACE WITHOUT MOUTH" or "MOBILE PHONE WITH RIGHTWARDS ARROW AT LEFT," or, in this case, "PISTOL."

Then, it's up to each company to independently design their emoji, but hewing to that agreed-upon definition.

As of this week, this is how the "PISTOL" emoji is being interpreted across popular platforms:Aside from Apple, Microsoft's new pistol emoji looks roughly similar to all the other pistol emojis across all platforms.

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