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Microsoft updates 25-year old logo

Microsoft updates 25-year old logo

Microsoft's new logo, bearing shades of the icon used to advertise Windows 95, puts an end to to 25 years of oblique type.

Microsoft has put an end to 25 years of history with a dramatic announcement. No, we're not talking about Windows 8 or its Surface tablets: we're talking about the company's new logo, pictured to the right.

Part of the company's rebranding exercise ahead of the launch of Windows 8 and its much-derided user-interface-formerly-known-as-Metro, the new logo dispenses with the oblique font of the company's previous design in favour of a simpler, sans serif font in an eye-pleasing grey. As before, the kerning is adjusted so that the letters F and T join together - one of the few things, aside from the name Microsoft itself, which ties the new logo to the old.

The logotype is joined by a new icon for the company, a tile-based affair based on straight-forward squares arranged in - surprise-surprise - a format reminiscent of a window. Unlike the previous, somewhat confusing, flag design, the logo is straightforward, clean and symmetrical.

It's also not exactly new: old TV adverts for Windows 95 used a very similar logo as their eye-catch, separate to the familiar Windows flag, with only the colours differing slightly - orange in the TV adverts has become red in the new icon. Whether intentional or not, it's at least a nod to the past.

Speaking of nods to the past, those familiar with Microsoft's history may see a shade of the original Microsoft Windows logo in the new company-wide design. While the first copies of Windows included an old-fashioned serif font, the single-colour icon was based around an asymmetric four-pane panel. Colour may have been introduced, the rounded edges filed off and the asymmetric layout ditched in favour of a more harmonious symmetric design, but the four segments remain.

While it's easy to dismiss Microsoft's new logo as being far from newsworthy, little could be further from the truth: it's the first time the company has changed its overall identity in a quarter of a century, and marks seriously changing times for the software giant. Increased competition from Apple - which has been enjoying a marked halo effect from sales of its tablets and smartphones - has Microsoft branching out into first-party PC sales for the first time, albeit in tablet form with its Surface products.

That's a move which has angered many of the company's OEM partners, who are now finding their own Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets in direct competition with those bearing Microsoft's own name - a scenario that has never before happened at the company, and would be unlikely to have happened under previous head Bill Gates.

It also represents Microsoft's continuing desire to unite its disparate products - including smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops and games consoles - under the banner of what was once known as Metro UI. Previously, the Windows flag has been limited to Windows products - but the four-colour boxy icon will now form part of the company's entire brand image. In other words: if you had hoped the company might reconsider its user interface direction, think again.

The new logo represents a complete reinvention for one of the world's biggest companies, and carries with it a none-too-subtle hint for Microsoft's partners and competitors: we're not doing changing just yet.

31 Comments

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Bogomip 24th August 2012, 11:53 Quote
Haha, I was thinking exactly the same:
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Mind
"I wonder how people are going to say this is just copying Apple" :)
dunx 24th August 2012, 12:43 Quote
So pleased they don't share common letters of the alphabet...

Apple <> Microsoft

Lawyers are gloomy ...

dunx
SMIFFYDUDE 24th August 2012, 12:47 Quote
I prefer the old logo
fix-the-spade 24th August 2012, 13:05 Quote
All I can think is New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke

It's a little disconcerting...
Blazza181 24th August 2012, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fix-the-spade
All I can think is New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke New Coke

It's a little disconcerting...

Someone's a bit of a junkie then

Sent from my Orange San Francisco using Tapatalk
SighMoan 24th August 2012, 13:55 Quote
I think the new logo and font look nice and clean and fresh.
PingCrosby 24th August 2012, 14:12 Quote
Who's Microsoft?
digitaldunc 24th August 2012, 18:33 Quote
Doesn't quite sit right with me, not sure why.
AiA 24th August 2012, 18:51 Quote
doesn't really look like a logo to me, looks a little to generic
SexyHyde 24th August 2012, 18:54 Quote
Does this mean Microsoft invented/own square now?
law99 24th August 2012, 19:57 Quote
They are one of those companies that could make the logo look like the silhouette of a girl spreading her legs and people will still have to buy their products.
Blazza181 24th August 2012, 20:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
They are one of those companies that could make the logo look like the silhouette of a girl spreading her legs and people will still have to buy their products.

Well, um, wouldn't you buy from that?
greypilgers 24th August 2012, 23:12 Quote
They changed a little picture, a little bit.
Meh.
leexgx 25th August 2012, 02:29 Quote
ms seem to be doing DMCA take downs currently on pictures of windows 8 (i guess to curb bad feed back) really not sure if I want to dance with windows 8 yet my self
Lazarus Dark 25th August 2012, 02:57 Quote
If it didn't say Microsoft next to it, I'd think it was a new Google service logo.
ssj12 25th August 2012, 06:29 Quote
this is just a variation to a logo they used in a few ads for Win95
SMIFFYDUDE 25th August 2012, 06:30 Quote
It looks so much like al lot of other company logos that it's rendered itself useless. I thought the point of a logo was to be instantly associable to a brand or product.
AmEv 25th August 2012, 08:15 Quote
I think it's kinda funny that MS updates their logo about the same time Windows 95 came out, 17 years ago.
MadManX1 25th August 2012, 09:34 Quote
If you look close enough you will see that the new logo has hollow parts in the middle which is clearly copying the famous "bite" on Apple's logo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
Haha, I was thinking exactly the same:
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Mind
"I wonder how people are going to say this is just copying Apple" :)
adidan 25th August 2012, 12:25 Quote
Makes me think of Floella Benjamin and Big Ted.
proxess 25th August 2012, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Mind
I wonder how people are going to say this is just copying Apple

They already have: http://www.ijailbreak.com/news/microsoft-new-logo-copied-apple/
modfx 25th August 2012, 20:04 Quote
Don't see the point of changing the text, what exactly was wrong with the old one? I like that the tiles actually look like a window instead of a flag but my first thoughts were: it looks like the buttons on a toy telephone I had when I was a kid and why are they using the windows logo for the whole company, MS does a hell of a lot more than operating systems.
3lusive 25th August 2012, 20:08 Quote
Old was better, but Metro has to infest everything.
GoodBytes 26th August 2012, 14:50 Quote
http://www.neowin.net/news/the-new-microsoft-brand-family-at-a-glance

While the new logo has nothing to love about or hate... I mean it's basic 4 square in a square.
When Microsoft is being consistence. It sure does look nice.

http://www.neowin.net/images/uploaded/microsoft-brand-family-2012-4.png
azrael- 26th August 2012, 15:46 Quote
I can see a lot of Microsoft product placement having to be redone now... ;)

http://blog.callemin.be/?p=148
theshadow2001 26th August 2012, 19:44 Quote
I think the logo's form combined with the colour makes it look dated. I preferred the all blue logo. It seemed to fit in with the metro theme better.
dolphie 27th August 2012, 04:45 Quote
Microsoft are obviously going through changes at the moment and become more "corporate" focused. They are acting more professional, and a bit less friendly every day software for every home, more of an important company your business cannot live without. They have changed Hotmail to become more of a Microsoft Outlook Online type of thing and they are changing their corporate identity too. The new logo seems to fit this change well imo. And it will be interesting to see if the changes go much deeper than their logo.
Griffter 27th August 2012, 11:20 Quote
brilliant actually. a logo anyone can remember, and draw in 3sec. thats compatibility at its max! fresh and clean clean clean clean...
Sylvester20007 27th August 2012, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldunc
Doesn't quite sit right with me, not sure why.

I would guess thats because your not sure about this whole metro thing and this change in the face of microsoft represents the embodyment of this change. Im not sure about this whole metro thing so I have the same feeling, im not there with this whole new windows look so this change in corperate branding doesnt feel good with me either.
jon 28th August 2012, 16:21 Quote
Microsoft is changing itself into a company that not only creates operating systems and useful utility software, it also creates products on which its software runs.

Wait, Apple does that. Microsoft is stealing Apples business model!
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