With a cue from Apple, Microsoft has created a oneness among logos for Windows, Office, Xbox and now the company itself as it attempts to integrate its products like never before.
Eye on Microsoft
By Shane O'Neill, CIO
Summer is ending, the seasons are changing, and so is Microsoft’s company logo.
After 25 years of stark black lettering, Microsoft has gone from black to softer gray-colored letters and added the four-pane colored square of Windows yore to the logo. The idea is to represent the new tiled design of Windows Phone and Windows 8 and “express the company’s diverse portfolio of products,” writes Jeff Meisner, Microsoft Corporate Blog Manager, in a company blog post.
You don’t see many companies use both an icon and letters in a corporate logo – it’s usually one or the other. But Microsoft seems set on having both. New logos for Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone, Xbox and now the company itself all use the “icon on the left, title on the right” design.
It’s hard not to notice that the “Microsoft” in the new logo uses the font of the user interface formally known as Metro that now dominates the look and feel of all Microsoft products (Microsoft recently dropped the brand name “Metro” from its nomenclature). Since every other product is using this font — called Segoe — it makes sense that the company logo would follow suit.
Uniformity across products and brand logos has never been Microsoft’s forte, but the new logos reflect Microsoft’s efforts to simplify and integrate new products such as Windows 8, Windows Phone and Office 2013 on new devices like touch-screen tablets and make the products themselves more colorful and less cluttered. It’s something Apple has always done and Microsoft is finally realizing that clean, streamlined branding is the best way to go.
Like it or not, you better get used to the new logo. It is now featured prominently on Microsoft.com, it will bookend all TV commercials and it adorns three of Microsoft’s stores — Seattle, Bellevue, Wash., and Boston, which opens today. It will be on all stores in a few months, according to Microsoft.