Microsoft has unveiled its new corporate logo, the first change made in 25 years. Most people will obviously hate it simply because it’s Microsoft, but as an exercise in branding it actually makes a lot of sense.
Microsoft has had the same corporate logo – nothing more than a stylized version of its name – since 1987. There were three logos in the 12 years leading up to that but none stuck around as long as the one most of us have grown up knowing. The next generation of computer users and tech lovers will know Microsoft in a different way thanks to the unveiling of its new branding.
The name is now presented clearly and simply in the Segoe font Microsoft owns and has used many times before. The F and the T of Microsoft are joined together just as in the last logo, but nothing else has survived the shift.
Added for the first time ever is a symbol sitting alongside the name, and it’s recognizable as the multi-colored pane that has been a part of the Windows logo through various iterations.
This also makes sense of the Windows 8 logo which many people hated upon its unveiling. Out went the four different colors, with the pale blue used on its own instead. That was clearly part of the branding process, as now Windows 8 is shown to be just one part of the Microsoft whole, alongside primarily Office and Xbox.
The bottom line is that Microsoft needs to start evolving if it’s going to not just survive but prosper in the future. Whether we have actually entered a post-PC era or not, Microsoft risks being left behind as the wants and needs of consumers change. It is taking the necessary steps in terms of products, even though some – Windows 8, anyone? – may turn out to be missteps.
This new corporate branding reflects a push into the future without abandoning or dismissing the past.