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Microsoft Unveils New Metro-Style Corporate Logo

Microsoft announced today that it has changed the appearance of its corporate logo to match the "look and feel" of its emerging new products.

Like the start screen in Windows 8, the new Microsoft corporate logo has that similar flat, spare design style that Microsoft used to refer to as "Metro," although that nomenclature may be changing. The new logo uses the Segoe font and has colors that "are intended to express the company's diverse portfolio of products," according to Jeff Hansen, general manager of brand strategy at Microsoft, in a blog post. Hansen said that Microsoft has not changed its corporate logo in 25 years.

Microsoft has previously described its Metro design as reflecting the simplicity of signage seen in airports and passenger depots. Metro is also the name of a sans serif font design by William Addison Dwiggins. Some articles have speculated that Microsoft is dropping the Metro name because it infringes the trademark of a German company, but nothing's been confirmed publicly. Some of Microsoft's blogs now seem to use the phrase "modern UI" instead of Metro.

Early on, Microsoft team members explained the company's Metro UI approach as a way to surface applications that were buried in the Windows menu system. The Microsoft design team made the switch based on how people were actually using Windows, based on stats delivered through Microsoft's opt-in feedback system. People typically launched programs from the taskbar, for instance, rather than digging through menus and using the Start button. The tile-based Metro UI also helps keep users alerted to changes as the tiles are capable of receiving updates on the fly, which can be useful for applications such as stock tickers and such.

Metro is not a bunch of rectangles; rather, it's "a philosophy," according to Sam Moreau, a director of the Windows user experience, according to a CNet article. The new logo actually uses squares.

The new logo will start to appear today across Microsoft.com, as well as other Microsoft Web sites. Retail Microsoft stores are also making the switch in the coming months.

New Microsoft logo
[Click on image for larger view.]
The new Microsoft corporate logo unveiled today.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 JC Seattle

I don't hate it. It's just that it's, well..., *yawn!*, excuse me, boring. As Dow said, somebody probably got a raise for that. And as Don Jones mentioned at the recent TechMentor conference on the Redmond campus, replacing all of the signs on campus will cost a fortune! Whoever got that contract sure scored! Whatever. Sure doesn't move me in any way except maybe to ease down the hall a little closer to the bathroom.

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Microsoft have finally succeeded! at making MS Bob look good... Metro on the desktop is terrible, Metro on server is an abomination.

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 Mike SC

Wonder what it smells like? Looks like it might be scratch and sniff..

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 Logic

It's the over saturation of people doing design work that are not designers.

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 Steven

I think if they had done each letter in a different color, it would look SOOOOO much better .... (Where are the sarcasm or barf fonts when you need them?)

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 Robert Pennsylvania

What, was using Myriad too obvious? LOL

Sat, Aug 25, 2012

Someone was busy with MS Paint!

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Chris

Is this a joke? It's not April Fools day.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

This does not look good at all. Plain squares. Earlier was much better.. hope Microsoft comes with better ideas

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Ryan

Ridiculous. Its sad that it was suggested and accepted by many commities and actually made it through. It shows how much Microsoft is disconnected from the real world. Microsoft has never been good at inventing, its force is in copying others.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Dave Tampa, FL

I miss Bill, at least he had balls and was gutsy. He's probably being sick in that futuristic poo toilet he invented recently.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 JColeman Birmingham

Microsoft has a design group that's awesome, it's the MacOffice team. Let them come up with the cool designs.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 College Dad

I've got a daughter working on her graphic arts degree, this new MS logo is good news! When she graduates she'll command at least 6 figures to start, given what passes for graphic design in the logo of a multi-billion dollar company. And here I was worried about how she'd pay her student loans!

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Excellent, typical MS. If a good thing can be screwed up, MS can do it, oops, will do it—change can be good or bad, MS appears to prefer bad.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Dion A. Rap Mile HIgh - Mile Deep

I'm sure the money they saved on having the summer remedial Jr. High art class design it will be spent on improving the internal design and performance of all their products! I guess we'll miss the notched "o" that they took so much pride in .. . .

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Sandyhook FL

BORING! I second the poster who said it looks like it was designed in Word.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Paddy O'Cinnamon

Metro is the answer, but I forgot the question. Another solution in search of a problem, like Sharepoint. I'm a Windows guy but I just don't understand Win 8 (and certainly not the logo).

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Hope they did not pay too much for it! My HS students could've done just as well.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Looks like someone from Apple designed it for them! ;)

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Dave Washington

Fail.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Not Unforgettable

I'm really tired of all the deconstructing that's been going on in the creative quarters in recent years. First, Walmart went from red/white/blue to Communist grey, then everyone started decorating in Blah Beige and B&W, now Microsoft's new logo is flat and boring. Maybe they just put all the designers on hiatus, just to make a change. Maybe things will start having flare again in a few years. Or maybe they're just trying to make it so the real world is so boring that everyone stays on their couch playing virtual reality games, if they want to get some excitement in their life?

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Joey Morgan Norfolk, VA, USA

I wouldn't mind so muc the lame logo if they hadn't lamed up the UI with it. Have you seen VS 2012 or the Office 2013 preview? If I wanted my graphical UI to look like I was on a web page, I'd use a web app. With 3 GB dedicated video RAM I expect a bit more depth and contrast from my tools.But yeah, it looks like a kid designed it for an art class--one he should flunk.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

I don't hate it, either, but I just can't stop seeing it as Microso pi

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Dow San Antonio, TX

What logo? I don't see no stinkin logo. The scary thing is that somebody in marketing probably got a raise for that bland, boring, non-thing.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Doug Rochester, NY

I actually don't have a problem with it. It's using the same font (Segoe UI) that's now being used in all of the new MS stuff. I think it's simple and clean and brings consistency to their offerings, something they have not done all that well in the past. And if you've seen the video that went along with the announcement (http://youtu.be/OzkZWvAJUr0), you will see how they used that logo very nicely to weave in all of their 3 big products. Like them or not, they're coming through on their promise of a 3 screens vision (Windows 8, Windows Phone and XBox) not to mention bring the same design concepts into Office and their online offerings like SkyDrive and Outlook.com. The use of the same design concept in the logo just emphasises their commitment to that vision and I applaud them for that.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Hmmm...

I'm with Dallas. 'I don't hate it.' C'mon, don't you think it's so cool how they made the 'ft' at the end touch eachother as if they were just letter, and the way those white lines intersect in the middle of the four colored squares, just awsome, and that perfect pantone shade of 'rainy day grey' that they chose for the name 'Microsoft',.... killer logo guys, I know you agree with me, don't be shy to speak up.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Den Kansas City

I thought this was the logo for Windows. Windows 3.1... Is the whole company all-Windows, all the time?

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Waiting for Apple's "Microsoft is square" commercials to begin.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 sagager

Sorry Bill, did not like it.
I would stick to the old one.
It looks more corporate.
My comments on the new logo: WTF!#@

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Looks like it was designed in Word.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 Paul Topeka, KS

I am a huge fan of Microsoft and its products but I have to agree that someone at marketing needs a good kick. Stepping backwars in logo design does not help. I felt like I had transported to 1950 and was at IBM.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 mnicks Dallas

I don't hate it.

Fri, Aug 24, 2012

Ugly and boring has hell. What the heck is going on in redmond? The 3d flag was waaaayyy coolor as was the previous design of the italic 'Microsoft' with that pacman like 'o'. I guess that need to fail badly before they realize their marketing dept just needs to go.

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