After 25 years Microsoft is hanging up its old corporate logo in favor of a new one that includes a squared off version of its four-color window pane and a typeface that is more in line with its Windows 8 logo.
IN PICTURES: Microsoft tells all about its Windows logos
The font used in the logo is called Segoe, a thinner type than that used in the old logo and the same as the one used in the Windows 8 logo. The accompanying Windows symbol in red, green, yellow and blue is a squared off version of the old Windows flag symbol that had wavy horizontal and vertical lines, says the company's head of brand strategy, Jeff Hansen, in the Official Microsoft Blog.
The revamp goes hand-in-hand with Microsoft's big gamble on touch-centric Windows 8, the new operating system scheduled to be released in October. The operating system embraces a clean look with focus on text rather than graphics, modeled after public-transportation signage. This is what the company had called Metro, but it has dropped the name.
At the same time, Microsoft is trying to unify the look of Windows 8 with its Windows Phone 8 and Xbox, all of which are undergoing radical changes. "This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning," Hansen writes.
The symbol and its four colors are intended to represent the company's diverse products, he writes.
Don't expect to see the new logo used consistently for a while, though. "Fully implementing a change like this takes time, so there may be other instances where you will see the old logo being used for some time," Hansen writes.
Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.
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