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Why has Microsoft decided to change its logo after 25 years? News websites, which reported the news after the new logo was launched at the opening of a new Microsoft store in Boston on Thursday, say the change heralds the launch of new versions of Microsoft’s major products such as Windows, Windows Phone and Office.

In case you’re thinking the new logo looks kinda familiar, that’s because it is almost identical to the already existing emblem of the Windows operating system. If you want to revamp your company’s logo after a quarter of a century, should it really be so bland an effort? Or is Microsoft trying to say something with its multicoloured four-tiled logo that’s definitely fresher than its older avatar but not that exciting?

Tech bloggers and brand designers are having a field day dissecting the new logo. Opinions range from ‘more friendly’ to ‘uninspired’, from ‘distinctive’ to ‘emotionless’.

But what’s obvious from the multitude of responses to the new logo over the past 10 hours is this present-day obsession with branding which is basically a company telling its consumers what it thinks of itself rather than receding into the background and letting consumers make up their own minds based on their use of the product.

Microsoft's old logo

If you look at the company’s old logo, you can tell the completely different attitude to logo designing back in the 1980s. The bold italic cursive font was no-nonsense, authoritative and more functional than evocative. Of course, it also helped that Microsoft was the Big Daddy corporation in a market with zero competitors in the same league.

Today, of course, the story is very different and a new company’s (or in Microsoft’s case, a company fighting to stay relevant) only chance of being noticed for its products which are only fractionally and subjectively different from those of its competitors, is in knowing how best to toot its own horn.

In that sense, Microsoft’s new logo inspired by the Windows OS flag actually is inspired. It’s Microsoft making a statement – our hero has always been Windows and that’s not going to change anytime soon. In a world where companies rush to repackage themselves every six months, it’s a brave stand.

Instead, Microsoft is successfully changing its perception in the market in the way all companies should – by innovating on its products, right from the critically acclaimed Windows Phone 7 interface, the Xbox 360, and the upcoming Windows 8, Surface tablets and the next version of Microsoft Office.

Clearly, it’s exciting times for Microsoft products, even if people can’t say the same for its new logo.

 

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