Microsoft Reveals the New Windows 8 Logo

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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!

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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