Microsoft’s Makeover: the New Logo

Craig Buckler

Microsoft has changed their logo. The new design was revealed last week…

Microsoft new logo

The logo has evolved since 1975 but the current incarnation appeared in 1987 and remained unchanged for 25 years:

Microsoft old logo

The new logo is the first to feature a separate icon and color. The colors match those applied to the symbols for Windows 8 (the neutral light blue), Office (the active orangery-red) and Xbox (the relaxed light green). That leaves a mysterious yellow. My guess: it’ll be applied to Microsoft’s touch devices such as Windows Phone and Surface tablets.

On the plus side:

  • it’s a clearer more modern design
  • it’s simple; logos should always be simple
  • it matches Microsoft’s more-focused consumer product line
  • it embodies the friendlier, cuddlier image the company is working hard to portray
  • I don’t hate it.

On the negative side:

  • does it reflect serious business software required by corporate users?
  • why doesn’t it apply 3D depth effects used on the other logos?
  • will it work in gray-scale?
  • is it distinctive enough?
  • does it look too much like the old Windows logo?

On that last point, I’m not convinced it matters. Microsoft is inextricably linked to Windows, although having both logos on the same box might look odd? I suspect the branding team wanted it to be reminiscent of Windows 8 UI style (The Interface Previously Known As Metro — or TIPKAM. Microsoft — if you can’t think of a better name, have that one on me).

Microsoft’s early logos were obviously designs of the 1970s and 1980s, but the current version has fared remarkably well for its age. I never really understood the slash between the o and s, but it still looks reasonably fresh in 2012.

There’s nothing particularly good or bad you can say about the new Microsoft logo. Perhaps its neutrality is its biggest strength? But will it provide the company with another 25 years of uninterrupted branding? I have my doubts.

Over to you. Does the new Microsoft logo inspire you or should the designer have their artistic license revoked?