Microsoft this morning unveiled a new logo, the first major revamp in 25 years, but the design won’t be a shock to anyone who has been tracking the company’s products. Here it is …What do you think? The font is the same one that the company has been using in its products (it’s Segoe, for all the typography nerds in the house), and the symbol to the left is reminiscent of the tiles used in Windows Phone, Xbox Live and Windows 8.

Here’s the explanation from Jeff Hansen, Microsoft GM of brand strategy, in a post this morning.

“It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change. This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products. From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs. 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.”

For some historical context, here’s a look at the evolution of Microsoft’s logo …

 

Bonus points if you know what they called the stylized “O” in the second version above.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. with the second logo, which Microsoft confirms was introduced in 1980. Hat tip to the Seattle Times for catching this, and thanks to Jefferson in the comments for pointing it out.

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Comments

  • http://www.intrinsicstrategy.com/ FrankCatalano

    I can’t help but observe that Microsoft is now adopting a multi-colored logo … several years after Apple abandoned its iconic one. As someone else noted in a reply on Twitter, there is balance in the universe, again.

  • http://twitter.com/tommyunger Tommy Unger

    It is just a logo. It’s simple, appealing, but the “Windows” reference feels a bit backward looking.

  • Guest

    I like it. It rather reminds me of the quadrants that Apple’s final CEO drew up when he came back into the company: home and business on the X axis, laptop and desktop on the Y. This simple, effective thinking turned a beige dinosaur into one of the world’s most valuable companies in history.

    This logo espouses the same pragmatic strategy that is already effecting a meteoric rise in the share price of Microsoft as it becomes, as we say, the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

    We do not work for, are not paid by, and do not hold shares of Microsoft stock.

    • guest

      You could be on to something since MS gets most of its inspiration from copying Apple.

      “is already effecting a meteoric rise in the share price of Microsoft as it becomes, as we say, the world’s first trillion-dollar company.”
      Wait, what? There hasn’t been any meteoric rise in MS’s share price. And at this point the company has its hands full justifying the marketcap is already has, far less one 4x bigger. You must have been thinking about Apple again and getting the two confused. Apple has had a meteoric rise this year, again, and does have a realistic chance of becoming the world’s first trillion dollar company.
      “and do not hold shares of Microsoft stock”
      That would be the one intelligent thing you said.

  • jonmadison

    They need to bring that first one back!!

  • http://twitter.com/stevecla steve clayton

    blibbet :)

  • sanuly

    Personally, the third and current one has an enduring appeal to it. The new one tends to lack a bit of soul. Once again like with Helvetica, they went with an UI font in Segoe. This is probably a first draft, but the logo takes up too much estate and is kind of busy, detracting from the corporate entity.

    The windows allusion is very off putting. It’d be like Sony redesigning its logo to look like the PlayStation’s!

  • Seriously?

    I’m not a graphics person but that is the coldest most soulless logo I’ve ever seen. The squares and the light grey make me think of a high school cafeteria.

    I would’ve stuck with #3. Even if it’s old it’s not as backwards looking as this new one. The Windows logo is just a sad broadcasting of their unbreakable and sad dependency on a dying business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leblang Jonathan Leblang

    I think that that stylized “O” would be the “blibbet”, would it not?

  • Jefferson

    The Seattle Times article shows a fifth logo that was used from 1980-1981. You should include it here since it ranks up there with the first one in terms of aesthetics. It looks like a font that would be used on a Journey or Def Leppard concert poster.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks, I just looked and that’s the first time I’ve seen that one. I’m checking with the company to make sure it’s real, and get a copy of the image if so.

  • Jesus Areyano

    How is this new? Its the same logo as the retail stores.

    • http://twitter.com/ymala1 Yasir Alam

      Exactly what I was thinking as soon as I saw it. Very similar to their retail stores, which isn’t bad, and even makes sense actually since they are Microsoft stores. I’m just surprised I didn’t see the comparison made more commonly.

  • guest

    Too bad a real “new beginning” for the company wasn’t as easy as coming up with a not very inspired new logo.

    You just have to shake your head. Let’s temporarily ignore the fact that this is the company that has weathered nearly a decade of criticism of its leadership and direction while arrogantly claiming that everything was fine and it “loved its strategy”. What new beginning is MS embarked on? It’s main revenue drivers are the exact same ones they were more than a decade ago, only now PCs are being disrupted by tablets and smartphones where MS has 0 and 3% share respectively. It’s growth rate is low single-digit and there is nothing, repeat nothing, on the horizon that has even an outside chance of changing that anytime soon. The stock, which has already been in decline for THIRTEEN YEARS, is currently way overpriced relative to current and expected growth. So in all likelihood it will fall dramatically and appears to be in that process as we speak.
    Fire Ballmer. Fire the Board. Start over.

  • Bob

    Captures the essence of the company’s problems. Not bold enough to either love or hate. Segoe part looks somewhat more modern but gets cancelled out completely by the choice of old-school Windows-like colored tiles rather than something more Metro-like (oops, I used the M word). Overall impression is something firmly planted in the past with only a tentative foot in the future, which exemplifies MS corporately.

  • Guest

    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes all the same.
    There’s a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one,
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

  • guest

    Nothing says new beginning and future-focused quite like bringing back the colored tiles from Windows 95. With these an other examples of a total lack of creativity and innovation, I’m trying to decide whether MS is purposely trying to commit suicide or its just unintentionally doing so.

  • Archie

    Amazing how the font style is sooooo similar to Apple’s font. Maybe a name change as well would help iCannotcompete.

    • guest

      You do know that Segoe didn’t originate at MS but was originally licensed and used by them long before any recent Apple fonts, right? Maybe you should change your alias to Jughead?

  • aroyal

    There is nothing new about this, not in vision or in execution. This is the visual representation of Ballmer’s goal of windows everywhere. Why stop there? Why not just change the company logo to ‘Windows’?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronlinda.pratt Ron-Linda Pratt

    Boring…I still like the “clipped” O.

  • Jack

    More arcana… back in the day, Microsoft’s cafe’s actually had a “Blibbet” burger on the menu. And after they dumped that logo for the update, a software developer started a “Save the Blibbet” campaign – with buttons, signs, and more.

  • http://twitter.com/sherrilynne Sherrilynne Starkie

    I like it. But it’s not all that new is it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/marc.gaudin.313 Marc Gaudin

    That “o” would be the “Blibbet”

  • http://www.facebook.com/karin.carter Karin Carter

    The blibbet is in the middle logo. The “crack o” is the second to last, and it inspired buttons that said “Bring back the blibbet!”

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