Bloomberg News

Microsoft Debuts New Logo Before Windows 8 and Surface

August 23, 2012

Microsoft Debuts New Logo Ahead of Windows 8 and Surface Tablet

The Microsoft Corp. booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Photographer: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US) unveiled its first new logo in 25 years as it prepares to introduce Windows 8, an updated version of its flagship software that will power the company’s own Surface tablet and other touch-screen devices.

The logo uses the so-called Segoe font, which is used in Microsoft products and marketing materials, and four colored squares that are “intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products,” the Redmond, Washington-based company said on its blog.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has revamped products including Windows, phone software and the Xbox game machine to adopt a sleeker, more modern-looking design to compete with Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) for style-conscious consumers. The colored squares in the new logo resemble the tiles found on touch-screen phones and tablets.

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.”

The redesign comes as consumers are increasingly choosing the tablets over laptops, weakening personal-computer sales and curbing Windows revenue. The company has said it plans to release Windows 8 on Oct. 26 and the Surface with an ARM Holdings Plc-based chip at the same time.

“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,” Microsoft said on the blog.

For the past several years, Microsoft has been trying to forge a more unified look and feel for the company’s products using a colorful, tile-based design first unveiled as part of Windows Phone under the name Metro. Earlier this month, Microsoft retired Metro, stating that it was used merely as a code name.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Rapaport in New York at lrapaport1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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