Microsoft is changing its logo to the one you see above, the first change to its corporate and brand logo since 1987.
In explaining the new look, Jeff Hansen, Microsoft’s General Manager Brand Strategy, says the company’s wave of new product releases coming this year – notably the new Windows 8 operating system, currently in release preview – “represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.”
[...] The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications. The symbol is important in a world of digital motion (as demonstrated in the video.) The symbol’s squares of color are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.
It’s certainly a radical departure from the stark black italicized logotype introduced in 1987
In comparing the two, the difference in how I perceive Microsoft from these typographic representations is equally stark, with the new suggesting a softer ‘feel’ to a company that is finding a new way for itself in a contemporary world that’s very different indeed to the one in which it had a dominant, almost exclusive, place in 1987.
Hence, I suppose, the aggressive look of that italic black text with the chink in the ‘o.’
I did like this opinion of the new logo quoted in a Bloomberg report:
[...] The new logo is meant “to show that this isn’t your father’s Microsoft, and there is something fresh, but also familiar,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at market research firm Gartner Inc. It also helps to show Windows and Microsoft’s overall new design language, formerly known as Metro, are “relevant and aspirational to the market.”
Now that’s a contemporary look!