Microsoft’s New Logo – Not the Next Big Thing

Microsoft unveiled its new corporate logo, and after taking a quick glance I can say it looks like a clean, boxy version of its old logo with its colored Windows flag slapped on. Is this as good as it gets 25 years after the behemoth’s last corporate logo revision?

Although the four-color Windows flag is now a clean square and the slanted script is now a clean upright font, this “new” logo still looks like Old Microsoft.

For example, take the colors of the flag and the order they appear. Red, green, orange and blue are still in their rightful orde — meaning just like the Windows logo. The kissing F and T in “Microsoft” are, well, still kissing.

But before you dismiss me as someone who just doesn’t like the look of the new design, actually I do. It’s the missed opportunity I dislike.

A corporate logo, ideally, is designed to signify the strength of a company and its vision of itself. Microsoft would like to think of itself as an innovator, as all technology companies should. But when I look at this, I don’t see any innovation. It’s more like a minor product update.

To borrow a couple phrases from the VC community, entrepreneurs and their companies largely fall in one of two pots. Companies either take an existing concept and make it faster, better, cheaper, or as John Doerr has so famously said, create “the next big thing.”

Microsoft could have gone for the “next big thing” here. With all the hullabaloo over Windows 8 and its entrance into the hardware space with its Surface tablet, Microsoft should have incorporated its new mobile destiny with the letter “M” in Microsoft. In other words, created an entirely new logo to signal it’s a new mobile company.

Alas, Microsoft is going for a faster, better, cheaper look.

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