August 23, 2012

Microsoft's new logo

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is Microsoft's new logo.  The first new logo for the company since 1987.

Looks familiar, no?

Now - the similarities are more than minor.  The font appears to be the same typeface, only in bold instead of regular.  The colors are the same on the symbols.  Even the color of the letters appears to be the same.

(It should also be noted that previous incarnations of the Windows logo - as far back as 1992 in Windows 3.1 - have had red, green, blue, and yellow squares.  However, previous versions were more primary and less muted.  Also, some of those previous logos were shaded as well, so the colors were more dynamic than the current one.)

I could compare the Hex code colors of the two logos to see if they are the same, but the Chrome logo actually has some subtle shading to make it appear 3D, so there are more than one hex codes per color block.  Also, the results could be skewed by which copy of the logo I happened to grab off the web.

There's also the placement of the symbol in relation to the text.  While some may point out that this is pretty standard, it certainly isn't the only way they could have arranged them.  The symbol could have been above the text, to the left, beneath it, or even behind it - to name a few off the top of my head.

Leaving the comparison to Google's Chrome logo aside - the logo is very plain.  Just some colored squares next to some very plain looking letters.  Look how bad it looks in greyscale.

There is nothing attention grabbing about that at all.

It almost looks Web 2.0. (If the M had been lower case, it would have BEEN Web 2.0, and maybe left out the i or something.)  In case you were wondering, Web 2.0 is old now.

Aside from being boring, web 2.0 ish, and very similar to a direct competitor's logo - it sends a bad message, at least to me.  Obviously Microsoft is known for being the company behind Windows.  That's not going to change any time soon.  However, there is far more to Microsoft than Windows. There is Office, Xbox, Zune, Windows Phone, and their upcoming Surface tablets. I wouldn't want to see that Windows-inspired Microsoft logo on my next game system.

(Yes, Zune still exists as a brand.  It is Microsoft's media store for music and movies.)

I'm not saying I want the Microsoft logo to be Xbox inspired either.  Just not Windows inspired.  How about something that shows diversity rather than conformity?  There are a million different things they could have done with this revamp.  It seems to me they picked just about the most boring and "safest" one they could think of.

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