Microsoft's logo gets a makeover

Microsoft's logo gets a makeover

Summary: Microsoft has modernized its corporate logo. Just don't say it's been 'Metrofied.'

TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows

Microsoft has updated its corporate logo for the first time in 25 years. Ta-da:



Not being much of a visually-oriented design person, I don't have much to say about the makeover. Just like when Microsoft redid its Windows logo, the significance of the changes are largely lost on me.

Images: Microsoft's new logo - new image?

If you are someone who cares about brands and logos, however, you might be interested to know that "the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors," as the Softies explained it in an August 23 blog post.

The font is Segoe; the intention is meant to imply "digital motion." Segoe and motion are both key to the Microsoft's Metro interface/design philosophy, which has been a key component in a number of recent Microsoft products, services and Web sites. But because Metro is now on Microsoft's banned words list, Microsoft isn't able to say that the new logo reflects the company's Metro UI/design principles.

I've had a number of readers ask if we know what the substitute is for "Metro." We do not. Microsoft officials are not commenting on this, though employees in different divisions at the company seem to be using different terms. I've heard and seen Microsoft officials suggesting everything from "Windows 8" to "Windows Store" to "modern" (lowercase m), to "WinRT" as working substitutes.

Microsoft officials said they are revealing the new corporate logo on the cusp of the upcoming wave of releases of "new versions of nearly all of our products." Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013 and a variety of other products are launching in the coming months.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Wow...

    That logo says to me: "Microsoft... it's where fun goes to die."

    The waving flag logo was so much more colorful and dynamic.
    • Careful there

      Waving flag logo was the official logo of Windows, not Microsoft.
      • True...

        Just as the puzzle pieces or square curlie-q things, using the same colors in the same sequence, were for the logo of Office... same colors, just a different whirlygig...
    • It's obvious... isn't it?

      The change is designed to mirror the new, tiled "Metro" interface
    • Control/Alt/Delete

      Some things never change.
  • I still vote for Metrow ...

  • The style formerly known as Metro

    In the new Visual Studio, what were "Metro" apps are now "Windows Store" apps, so one possible replacement for Metro is "Windows Store". I've also heard it referred to as simply "Windows 8". Neither of these helps much when you want to discuss the Metro Design Language, which I've heard referred to as "Modern UI".

    In either case, I'm not sure there's actually much Metro specific stuff in the new logo. A single, flat, monochromatic square with the logo inside wold be Metro. Microsoft in all-caps might be Metro. In the long run, I have to agree that the change for me is neither upsetting nor exciting.
    • Nope

      Win32 apps can appear in the Windows Store as a link to your website where the can install it from. So "Windows Store" app won't cut it.
  • Does it look like

    bathroom tile manufacturer's logo or is it just me? It even appears to be "glazed"...
  • Looks more modern...

    I like it. It looks more modern & more interesting than the previous, font-only logo. What I don't understand is why they didn't use the angled windows/tiles of the new Windows logo. That would've made more sense to me. The Microsoft logo would be multi-colored, and the Windows logo would be blue.

    Anyway, I think it's a more recognizable logo now (because of the tiles).
    • The previous logo was the flag,

      only with a simple gradient and angle to make it more eye-catchy rather than uber-bland.

      This is a step backwards. A big step backwards.
      • No, their previous logo was the word "Microsoft"

        In bold and italic, with the first "o" and the "s" overlapping and a bit of a triangular cut-out in that first "o".

        Their previous logo was the "Blibbet" (Microsoft in what was then called a "modern font" all caps, with a window-shady overlay on that first "o" (which was known as a "blibbet" within the walls of MSFT (I'd say Redmond, but they may not have moved there yet at that point - I think they might have still been in Bellevue).

        "Remember the Blibbet!"
    • Modern

      I'll agree with the statement that it's modern if you use the definition of modern art as: "painting, sculpture, architecture, and graphic arts characteristic of the 20th century and of the later part of the 19th century"

      Come on Microsoft, it looks like you're stuck in the 80's with this new logo and looks exactly like what Apple-kool-aide-drinkers would expect you to look like. When are you going to shake the "we're just for business applications" image?
  • Definately a step back

    MS is doomed :-\
    • Seriously?

      Just because they change the logo? Seriously?
      • Poor Design overall

        Because if this is the best their graphics design department can come up with...well, I hate to say, but Apple just destroys them in simple graphic design. Even the latest flavors of linux have pretty nice logos.
  • Segoe

    Does Microsoft own the Segoe font? Do they own the Segoe name? That could be useful...
    • MS will just put a patent on it

      Then go after anyone who tries to innovate on it...
      • Sorry did you mean Apple there?

        Apple are the patent trolls. They try to sue companies out of existence. Microsoft settles for reasonable royalties.

        • Microsoft is the Patent troll

          As they derive income from trolling. Apple is not a Patent troll, as they seek to prevent their patents from being used. Simple, but important difference.
          Troll Hunter J