What Do You Think Of Microsoft's First New Logo In 25 Years?

Logos are usually boring, but they matter because we're forced to look at them every day. This is particularly true for a company like Microsoft, which has updated its logo for the first time since 1987.

It definitely hits the visual zeitgeist right in the stomach -- Metro-invoking minimalism and soft, plain type. But is it Microsoft? Is it the kind of image that will bore its way into your brain and influence you when you're spending money as logos ought to do? [via TNW]



    Usually a company that produces a quality product evolves a logo for something that people want, or need. Microsoft have cornered a part of the market with their products because we have no choice, well, for a while we had not choice! I do not want, or need, microsoft products. There are far superior software apps and operating systems out there, and if Microsoft were to close their doors, and stop selling their products, the world would be a much better, less stressed, more stable, environment. Taste an Apple, and enjoy life!

      I'm going to assume you use a Mac..?

        Hahaha wow, you need to stop humping unicorns.

          haha this was meant for James. Sorry Noddy

      Do you really believe your decision to purchase a product from a particular company instead of another makes you some kind of enlightened creature? They have you sewn up, boy. you're their perfect consumer. Not only gullible, but willing to work on their behalf to spread their marketing pitch. best of luck to you.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.


      Ironically, James, it's the attitude of people like you who put me off Apple products for years. Do you realise that? You're kicking yourself in the butt with that kind of crap.

      He could be Linux. There are more operating Systems than Mac vs Windows. I'm moving from my mac to Win8 lol.

        "Taste an Apple, and enjoy life" yes I'm sure he's talking about Linux

          mmmm, taste a penguin.

          And I just mean a real penguin. No reference to Linux.

          Penguins are delicious

            I actually loled

        I'm planning to do the same. Mac user since 2005.

          me too but i no longer wish to support such a greedy company.

      Wow. You just gave me apple shame.

      "Usually a company that produces a quality product evolves a logo for something that people want, or need"
      So, it's the logo we deserve, but not the one we need right now? :P

        Haha +1

        +1 I laughed audibly.

      Why do other people choices make you so Grumpy? Use your Mac let everyone else use there Windows based PC and move on. You will then find inner happiness.

      In the interest of full disclosure I also use a Mac. But I don't feel insecure because other people choose not to.

        But... but... he wants us to taste the apple and enjoy the happiness he also enjoys! JOOOOIN HIIIIIM~...

      James, when did we have no choice? I bought my first PC in 1995 and put OS/2 Warp, which I bought from Harvey Norman, on it after about 6 months. I went back to Win 3.11 a few weeks later. There have always been choices, it's just that Windows ha always been the only good choice.

      James, what is an operating system for? I'd suggest it is there to provide an interface between our computer hardware and the software applications we want to use on it. Given that, surely the best operating system is the one that supports the widest range of hardware and the greatest number of software applications? i.e. Windows.

      I use both Windows and OS X every day, and it is very obvious to me that Windows is measurably more stable than OS X. Given the closed nature of OSX, it beggars belief that this should be the case but I have to deal with system freezes on the Mac every week, whereas I've not had to deal with anything similar in Windows since 2003. It might not be so bad but after a few "Force Quits" earlier this week, I timed a restart at more than four-and-a-half minutes. The worst thing about having to use a Mac at work, though, is that it forces me to use bloated, over-complicated, slow applications instead of fast and intuitive software because no-one bothers to make good stuff for MacOS. The only good thing about it is that I work on an hourly rate and I reckon using MacPros instead of my ultrabook probably means I earn an extra 25%.

        Closed? Windows is far more closed than Mac OSX.... an Win8 is going to be worse once MS enforce the use of their "Store" for software installs

      Windows, runs virtually everything. Mac, doesn't run a lot of games (I'm a huge gamer), doesn't run a lot of software I need for my professional work. Ubuntu, it's great, but I need to set it up and fiddle but I'm too lazy to learn or look into Wine. Perhaps I'm a little naive, but I just love everything about Windows 7.

      Windows, 'making my life A LOT EASIER.'

      Boring, unimaginative, stupid use Macs too.

      This girl I know uses an apple. She was annoying though because she would spend hours on end (no joke) telling me how awesome apple is and how it "just works", it has no viruses and is so simple to use that everyone can use it. She says that people who use windows are idiots for sticking to something that is so clunky and complex.

      I would've said to her I was competent enough to learn how to use windows if I didn't get the hell away from her first.

      TL;DR apple fan boy/girls are mostly annoying. I would just cut them off for the peace n quiet.

        I'm competent enough, but I just value my time too much ;)

      Clearly does not work for a company that uses Exchange :/

      You know if MS closed their OS off and only Apple was left.... Lets just say alot of Mac users would be screwed due to their lack of A/V :/

      Um aside from Xbox which is honestly the most fun I've had with a games console (and I've owned consoles since the SNES) , I'll take Excel any day over it's competitors.

      i own many apples and love them to the point that it annoys other but you cannot say that Microsoft products e.g. office are a vital part of ever computer

    It represents Microsoft just fine. Very Simple minded targeting the technically impaired. Somebody probably earned $100,000s to come up with this. It has to be a joke gone bad. Next their lawyers will trademark it and millions will be sued for their multi-colour linoleum flooring - do I hear a new path to profit?

      Someone who has that pattern on their floor deserves to be sued :P

      Technically impaired? This is the Microsoft logo, not Apples.
      Speaking of which, Microsoft may be sued due to the logo too closely resembling the aspect ratio of the iPad. (sarcasm intended)

      You lost me at the "technically impared" comment. Typical fanboy drivel.

        Fanboy? Typical "PC" user come back.

      Whats the old saying?
      "Mac. Helping noobs use computers."

    I don't think there was anything wrong with the old one but this is good, too, and more in line with the Metro design language. I like the new Office icon.

    Nice, but I hope they didn't pay anybody to design it. It's 4 squares, in colours that were already part of the not-metro colour palette

      Ha ha, you could be almost 100% certain they did pay someone to design it, all big corporates have hordes of shiny pants seat warmers in marketing to make sure they shell out at least $50Million for this sort of thing, I know I used to work for Telstra, BHP and Compaq.

      I believe graphic and logo design isn't priced on 'how many squares' it is, MDolley. The Nike logo is a sideways tick. The Apple logo is, well... an apple. None of these things are complex shapes.

      Fair point on the colours I guess. I think they should make Metro match their logo colours rather than the other way 'round, though.

        The Nike logo still has an element of design - the length of the swish, the thickness, the angle of the uptick at the end.

        The Apple logo still has an element of design - the curvature of the apple, the size and angle of the leaf, the height of the the bumps at the top, the size and shape of the bite.

        The only design decision with this logo is the spacing between the squares. There are a million ways to do a tick or an apple, but a square is a square.

        As I said, I like it. I just hope they didn't pay too much for it. Somebody with paint could make 100 different variations of that logo in an hour.

          I don't think we're on the same page MDolley. Somebody with paint could also make 100 variations of the Nike logo in an hour. And the Target logo. The complexity and difficulty in drawing a logo means basically nothing.

          The BMW logo is 4 squares, inside a circle. I sure hope they didn't pay anyone to make it! Someone with paint could have made it :P

            Actually, the BMW logo is four triangles (white & blue) within a circle. It represents the pilot's view of the sky through a spinning propeller.

            I don' think we are on the same page (are you a graphic designer by any chance?). Sure somebody with paint could make 100 variations of the Nike logo, but it would take a designer to know what looks good. "We went for this thickness because it better implies speed and movement bla bla bla"

            What is the difference between a designer drawing a square and a novice drawing a square?

            All of the other examples you provided have an element of design to them. Target has the thickness of the outer ring and the spacing between that and the inner circle. BMW has the thickness of the black ring around the interior, and the angles of the letters.

            We may have to agree to disagree on this one.

              "Target has the thickness of the outer ring and the spacing between that and the inner circle".
              The new Microsoft one has the spacing between the squares. I see no difference.

              But yeah, agree to disagree :P as long as you admit that even that logo is worth at least more than zero dollars ;)

                I will concede that it is worth more than $0. It was probably designed by somebody who was on a Microsoft salary anyway.

              Round vs square is not design vs not-design. It's a choice. Microsoft made the choice a long time ago to go with 'square' and flat rather than 'round' and playful - using squares shapes in a logo has it's challenges - same goes for a more rounded logo. Choosing a square "Metro" style in itself would have been a HUGE design decision for Microsoft. I don't think they would have outsourced this logo...it's too important. They have multiple in-house design teams that are more than capable.

          This logo also has a lot of design - the relative size of the device and the type, choice of font and weight, colours for both the device elements and the type, the spacing between the squares in the device and the space between the device and the type. The alignment of the device and the type is also up for design. Even choosing a square is a design decision that someone had to make and get signed off. Not putting in bevels and drop-shadows requires that someone makes design decisions. And don't forget that it was not created in a vacuum, decisions had to be made on how much to change it from the last one, what to keep, what to remove, what to change. Just because the end result is beautifully simple, don't think for a minute that a massive effort wasn't expended in getting there. Sure, much of the work was done in defining and refining the Metro design language but all those decisions are reflected in this logo.

            Fair points, and my original comment wasn't meant as seriously as it seems to have been taken.

            I do think that designing this logo would have been a much easier process than designing other logos. A lot of the work was already done by other designers within Microsoft. The metro colour palette had been finalised when Windows Phone came out, and the Segoe typeface had already been designed. Even the squares are inspired by the tiles interface of WP and Windows 8.

            Perhaps what I should have said is "I hope they didn't pay a lot for somebody outside of Microsoft to design this logo because while it is a nice logo, it isn't anything more than a basic collection of existing metro elements."

              I gotta say, it's a darn sight better than the actual Windows logo. Why they have a different logo for Windows and Microsoft, but the Microsoft one actually IS Windows... baffling. (I'm assuming their 'Windows' one is still the slanted window?


          Apple are certainly not the only people to use the golden ratio. In fact, I found it amusing that for a while there, everyone was congratulating them on designing the iCloud logo with golden ratio - turned out, they actually purchased and modified an existing shape, -pre-golden-ratio'd. (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ThereIsOnlyOneCloudIconInTheEntireUniverse.aspx)

        The Nike "swoosh" cost something like $50. There was a thing on here about the cost of different logos a few weeks ago.

      You, sir, are everything that's wrong with the graphic design industry and it's clients. Simple does not equal worthless - simplicity is often the result of hours and hours of research, concept sketching, prototyping, pairing back design after design until they reach something that represents the brand as decisively and effectively as possible.

        No, I think you just took my comment way too seriously. It's Friday. Chill out a little.

        I have a lot of respect for the work of graphic designers. Doesn't mean that you can't make a joke at their expense.

        As I mentioned in a later comment, this logo should have been a simple design process because the groundwork had already been established. The colours had been picked, the font already picked, the use of squares already picked.

    Looks great! Does away with the "old Grandpa" syndrome

    I find it all kind of bland and 2 dimensional to be honest. Since XP windows has had a nice depth to it using nice gradients to give it that depth, now it all seems to be solid squares and sharp edges, it's almost gone back to a late 70's early 80's kind of look.

    I prefer the new logo and isn't it about time they updated the old.

    Like the article says "minimalism and soft" but I would say it's simple and smooth.

      I agree with the minimalist, but I think they have used their ruler a bit too much for it to be soft.

      The Designers Republic did have an effect... finally

    Interesting how close it is to the chrome logo and colours (or the other way around)

      These colours are very close to the ones they've been using from the start, which was a long time before Chrome even existed.

        A long time before Google even exited ;)

    I like it, it matches the new OS well and is still close to the original.

      Agreed. It looks good.

    It's inoffensive, bordering on bland.

    Maybe, given how offensive Microsoft has historically been, that's what they were aiming for.


      They have made some great iconic logos before (the X-box logo, the Windows flag,), but this just looks like something that's been left out in the sun too long.

    Did anyone else watch the video and notice that the coloured panes represent branches of Microsoft. Blue for windows, red for office, green for xbox. So what does yellow represent? Could it be hardware, ie surface or other future products? Could it be it's cloud services, ie skydrive, outlook? Anyone else have any other suggestions?

      I immediately realised that yellow didn't represent anything in the video. That's gonna drive people with OCD crazy....crazier....

        I do and it is

        Google has blue, red, green ... and yellow.

        So it is that Microsoft - a company trying to catch up with its latest perceived competitors - follows suit.

        There you go OCD sufferers, the explanation that will set your mind at ease.

      I would say that it is more mobile solutions as that would cover mobile phones, cloud solutions and other things like Bing. That's my guess

      Would be Windows Phone. The stock Windows Phone 'theme' colour was originally red, then it went orange for 'mango'. Progressing to Yellow next makes sense. =D

    No doubt a large creative agency did this - probably Crispin Porter + Bogusky and they would have paid $100,000's for it.....

    It's clean and contemporary enough and a step in the right direction. The kerning is a bit off for my taste but each to their own. The colours reek 1980's but that ties the origins to the old icon so it works for them.

    Noooooooo! Microsoft, what are you doing? You can't be new and exciting! You're supposed to be old and bland! /o\

      Yeah! Where's the bevel and emboss goddamnit?!

    Has it changed? Looks the same to me. It has always looked lame.

    the Microsoft logo is now a window? This makes as much sense as Apple making their logo a big X. Windows is their product, Microsoft does lots more than just windows.

    I think it's fine. Not amazing, but perfectly acceptable.

    it's a smart design having the 4 blocks representing important aspects of the company but I just feel I have seen it before, that's not necessarily a bad thing but what Microsoft are trying to do with their suite of products at the moment is possibly revolutionary and would want to see them represented a little better.

    BTW I am a mac user

    I like to the logo itself, but the "Microsoft" bit is a little bit.... well. It's just the name of the company in a particularly boring Sans Serif font. It's inoffensive, but couldn't they have done something a little bit more interesting? At least if they'd done it with Comic Sans it would have captured a bit more notice. This is just bland.

      Maybe we get too edit the font on our own versions of Windows 8?

    Looks like Google designed this.

    Aww I feel sorry for Yellow, who missed out on a logo.

    It won't look as good chasing Bender around the haunted mansion...


    ok as someone who does this thing full time, I will chime in. First of all let me say with these type of branding and logo exercises they are usually costed what they are worth the the company, not how many hours etc are spent on the job. But having said that, logos can have many many hours spent on them to reach the final logo version. Ten, 20 or 30 logos and variations maybe have been designed in the process. If i were to just redraw that logo, or any logo in fact it would actually only take me an hour or two, but it is the process and the experience behind the final logo that companies pay agencies the big money.

    My 2c on this particular logo is that although i love to simplify, I think they have gone one step too far. It still does need a defining element element, or perhaps not a defining element (as the squares are the defining element), but something that sets it apart from being just 4 plain squares.

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