Microsoft Reveals the New Windows 8 Logo

Microsoft has revealed the new Windows 8 logo. I wouldn’t normally write an article about it but this is the first major redesign in 22 years. And since most of us use Windows every day, that’s a fairly big deal.

Are you ready? Here goes…

Windows 8 logo

While it’s no London 2012 logo, I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed.

Changing your brand is not something companies (should) do on a whim. Microsoft state the new logo reflects the re-imagination of the Windows operating system with clean lines, simple colors and the new Metro interface. They also admit the old logo was a flag rather than a window. Did it ever confuse you?

I’m not totally convinced. The font is a little simplistic and why is the window icon shown in perspective when Windows 8 looks flat?

It’s a bold move that’s likely to divide user opinion. Much like Windows 8. So let’s take a brief trip through history to see how Microsoft reached this point…

Windows Vista/7

The semi-transparent full-color Aero theme had a big influence on the Vista/7 logo and start button:

Windows Vista/7 logo

It’s still recognizable as the Windows logo, but the highlights, shadows and gradients made it feel more modern.

Windows XP

XP remains the world’s most-used OS eleven years after its release. Again, the logo matched XP’s default theme and, while it looks a little basic today, it was a fairly radical step forward at the time…

Windows XP logo

Windows 3+

In the decade leading to XP, all versions of Windows including 3.x, NT, 95, 98, Millennium and 2000 used a variation of the flag with familiar motion trails:

Windows 3 logo

It looked fairly dated in the 1990s, but that’s the period Microsoft became the most dominant OS maker on the planet. The logo is business-like and businesses flocked to Windows.

Windows 1.0

Do you remember the original Windows logo from the 1980s? Me neither. Does it remind you of anything?…

Windows 1 logo

We’ve come full circle. Almost three decades of tweaks and redesigns has resulted in a logo which looks almost identical to the one first used in 1985. I think I prefer the original — although a sans-serif font would improve it.

Whatever your opinion, you better get used to it. The Windows 8 logo will appear everywhere in the lead up to the new OS release!

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  • http://www.webpagefavs.com/ Elizabeth

    I actually like the new logo and style, etc, it’s a vast improvement on the last (Vista) design, simplicity at it’s best, and I ain’t no Microsoft fan either. It’s a positive move if you ask me.

  • Redeemer Ricson Dogbey

    Another circle is completed in the world. The world’s fashion & design have gone back to accient time to reveal history. It is nice & simple

  • http://behati.dk Behati

    I prefer the Windows Vista / W7 logos.. Windows Vista didn’t do a lot of things right, but alteast the logo was great :)

    This “new” logo indeed looks like going back in time, not too inovative, is it?

  • http://wpconsult.net Paul

    someone said they the new logo looks like 4 BSODs…
    Personally not impressed by it, and it might be a while before I upgrade. Windows 7 is pretty stable for me.

  • http://www.savthecoder.com SavTheCoder

    I like the new face Microsoft is putting on its products and I think the new logo reflects this quite well.

  • http://doublemthemes.com DoubleMThemes

    I don’t like it at all :( The change might be too…. change?

  • Otilia

    I would have chosen Arial Black or similar font weight for the writing and an open window symbol.

  • Przemek

    The new logo is OK, I like simplicity. I don’t like the font too much, and colour could be something else but blue.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      Actually, it sounds like Microsoft will be using it in whatever color is appropriate. That might be blue, but you may see pink and green versions too!

  • Adaygrit

    I couldn’t find a Windows 8 logo in the article. I found the flag of Finland with the colors inverted, but no logo. Unless… oh.

  • http://www.deathshadow.com deathshadow

    The isometic instead of perspective projection on it drives me nuts… notice the distant panes are the same width and the center line fails to narrow. Somebody didn’t pay attention in third grade art class when they went over ‘vanishing points’ and ‘divisive projection’… or do they not even teach that at the college level anymore just like math classes; teaching calculus before most kids have grasped basic math?

    Stylistically, it’s one of the most boring things in recent memory — it has all the form and style of a recently sanitized hospital ward – kind of like Apple or Ikea products.

  • http://utvca.com Syneace

    The new logo is so cold and rigid. I am shocked that a company like Microsoft would go with something so simplistic. There is no creativity and is really a turn off.

  • USPaperchaser

    Craig not like anything that relates Windows Logo? Is the sun hot? Hack.

  • Alex

    I have to say I like the approach of the new logo — to strip it back after the web2.0ey hyper-rendered gloss of the Vista era logos. It makes sense to take the decorations back to ‘ground zero’ when you’re launching a very different direction with your OS.

    But, yeah. Underwhelming is a good word. The Metro UI is more often shown as white text on black, so I might have thought that was the obVious default for the logo.

    Then again — I think they should be brave and just call the new OS ‘Metro’. Every day kids start high school that don’t really care much about what Windows was in the 1990s. They’re the ones that will be buying OS’s in the next 5-10 years.

    Would it have helped Microsoft to have called their first games console a ‘Windows xBox’? Windows was totally dominant at the time the xBox launched, yet they understood it was easier to take on Sony with a fresh, clean brand to target a new demographic — gamers.

    Surely Apple is playing the Sony role in the 2012 mobile/tablet OS space?

    Be brave, MS.

  • Mac

    Craig,

    Windows, IE and Microsoft are not religions. Give them a break. You just tarnish your professional view by making things personal and religious.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      These are my personal opinions. How is that different to my “professional view”? I’m not sure where you got “religious” from, but it’s evident you don’t read my articles.

      For the record…
      I use Windows 7 and XP. I’ve used Windows since v2.0 and MS-DOS before that. I used to work for Microsoft. I’ve attended PDCs. I use Microsoft Office although I’m still not wholly convinced by the ribbon interface. I use Visual Studio and SQL Server. I think C# is great but I’m not a fan of .NET for web development – especially webforms (.NET’s getting better but I still prefer PHP). I have an XBox. IE2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, and 6 were my default browsers. By comparison, I thought Netscape 1, 2 and 3 were good, but 4, 5 and 6 were awful. I thought IE6 was a great browser and it remained my default until Mozilla Phoenix. I thought IE7 was an abomination but IE8 was far better. I think IE9′s good — especially it’s speed — but it’s not my default and I’m annoyed MS didn’t release it on XP. I think IE10′s very promising as is Windows 8. They’ve done good things and they’ve done bad but, overall, I prefer Microsoft’s business ethics to those of Apple.

      I don’t particularly like the new logo but I don’t detest it either. I may not be the gushing MS fanboy you’d prefer, but you can find many of those elsewhere on the web.

      • Carrie

        I *am* an MS fan-girl, and I don’t care for the logo either. At the very least, couldn’t they have made each pane a different color, to connect the logo with previous versions, and add some life to an otherwise boring design??

    • http://alexmwalker.mp/ Alex Walker

      Mac, it reads as pretty balanced to me. MS have been getting a lot right lately, but doesn’t mean everything is perfect.

  • Chipp

    Broken. Logomark faces away. Everyone knows that draws the viewers eye away from the logotype. Just poor design.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      I agree — it does seem odd. And I think it’ll look strange when it appears anywhere on the left-hand edge of the screen (like the start button).

  • http://www.webmentor.cr/ Marco

    The kerning is terrible. Specially noticeable between the W and the i. Look how they clash aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh

  • http://www.caseyburk.com Casey

    I think it’s okay… Not stunning, not pathetic… Just, okay.

    The XP logo still does it for me. :.P

  • WTFrank

    The “Windows” logo could work with a bit of tweaking.
    One color without gradients works well across print and web.
    I’d drop the word “Windows” and just go with the number 8 next to it in perspective.
    A logo with out the company name or slogan is more modern, works in any language and works well for Nike.

  • http://google.com Jerich

    I actually read this article from bottom to up.
    I didnt know the log was a flag and not a window. Now that is a trivia to me.

  • http://joezimjs.com Joe Zim

    I love the simplicity, but then I agree about the “underwhelming” statement. It seems to be missing something. I like the idea that they tried to make it match the minimalistic Metro UI, but even the Metro UI had more than one color. Though I have a hard time trying to imagine that logo with multiple colors either. I think it’d look horrendous that way.

  • Ben

    I just don’t get it, the current Windows logo is on Everything currently made or licensed from Microsoft. It has awesome brand recognition.

    This new logo is generic and doesn’t fit in with any kind of decent marketing strategy, what is Microsoft thinking… let’s tank?

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      Windows 8 is a fairly radical evolution so they’ve applied the same thinking to the logo. Time will tell whether it works.

  • http://ecreations.mu ashvindx

    @Paul that’s a good one – 4 BSOD.

    I think the logo is drastically simplistic – surely to show the shift in focus in the new Windows 8. Remains to be seen whether Windows 8 will really adopt a simplistic approach, away from the bloated or one more promise…

    Nevertheless, it should have incorporated some gradients, like the current trend. A mirroring of the logo would also look better on the eyes. Currently, it’s like telling you to look away from Windows.

  • http://antjanus.com Antonin Januska

    I honestly think the logo is superb. I love it, no more special effects, no more glossiness/glass/crap, no more waving flag that doesn’t really make sense. This goes straight to the point. And while just by looking at the logo you can’t really tell what kind of a company this is, I feel like it does relate to the Metro style and the minimalist approach.

    The blog article about the logo mentioned that the logo will change for the user depending on their color scheme, so that’s great but.idk.

    Anyways, the logo is good, it’s a good start at least. I think it may still change before release because it looks a tiny bit unfinished. If not, then I’m looking forward to seeing a better cultivated one on Windows 9. :)

  • http://www.lexi-soft.co.uk Umesh Ramidi

    The look and feel of new logo is better than the previous one.

  • http://www.webbeets.com Alexa

    Microsoft windows logos always simple and nice.I like new logo.

  • http://www.gilluminate.com/ Jason Gill

    font: fail
    color: fail
    spacing: fail
    making me think of a literal window: win!

  • Millennial1

    BORING! No wonder Apple is winning the younger generation. Microsoft should focus on the quality of products offered not this 2D logo. Here’s a hint Microsoft, maybe your focus group should not be your employees. Your paying them, of course there going to say they love it. One more thing if your going to go “retro” the reference should at least be good. Just sayin’.

    This is horrible. As of late, Microsoft=FAIL.