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Microsoft Unveils First Branding Makeover in 25 Years
Microsoft Unveils First Branding Makeover in 25 Years
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus

Microsoft has a new look. The software giant just unveiled an all-new logo -- its first branding makeover in 25 years.

Redmond is making the change as it prepares to roll out Windows 8, the latest version of its flagship software, which moves deeper into the mobile world. Microsoft has called Windows 8 one of the most significant waves of product launches in the company's history. Beyond the desktop, Windows 8 will power the company's coming Surface tablet and other touchscreen mobile devices.

"It's been 25 years since we've updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change," Jeff Hansen, general manager of Brand Strategy at Microsoft, wrote in the company blog. "This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning."

Making Brand Impressions

By "new wave of releases," Hansen means everything from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office. Microsoft is pushing out the new logo so consumers will experience a consistent look and feel across these products. The idea is to breed familiarity as consumers transition from PCs to phones to tablets and TVs and back again.

Although the Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names, the new logo is part of Redmond's recognition that the ways people experience its products are the company's most important "brand impressions." With that in mind, Hansen said the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from the company's product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of its brand values, fonts and colors.

"The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications," Hansen explained. "The symbol is important in a world of digital motion. The symbol's squares of color are intended to express the company's diverse portfolio of products."

Microsoft Logo Tweet-ables

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said the logo is "softer" than recent Microsoft logos.

"It's more 'consumer friendly' and colorful," he told us. "It also alludes to the Metro interface from Windows Phone and Windows 8 -- now no longer called 'Metro.' "

Microsoft is already using its new logo prominently. It's used on Microsoft.com and is in three of its retail stores. It will also appear as the sign-off on Microsoft's television ads. Hansen said the old logo may still appear in certain places until the transition is complete. But what do consumers think?

Jubbin Grewal tweeted, "I like #Microsoft's new #logo. Fresh and so clean clean!" But Aaron Levie tweeted, "Leave it to Microsoft to do their first logo update in 25 years using MS Paint." And Robert Padbury tweeted, "If you rotate the new Microsoft logo 45 degrees, it becomes the symbol for hazardous materials. And the bootcamp logo."

Tell Us What You Think


Posted: 2012-08-24 @ 6:17am PT
Logo or no logo it doesn't really matter to me. What matters to me is how well their product performs and how practical will it be for me... Their logo doesn't do anything for me but their software does wonders....

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