New Windows Logo Strikes Minimalistic Chord

By: Josh Wolford - February 17, 2012

For most of my life, the word “Windows” has only called up one mental image: the Windows 98 loading screen, chugging away on my basement computer, a Packard Bell. Interesting home computing choices aside, the image of Microsoft’s Windows, that wavy blue, yellow, red, and green flag flying gallantly across the screen is gone forever.

Well, at least for Windows 8.

What? It’s not a flag? Of course, of course – it’s multi-colored windows.

And that’s the confusion that Microsoft has addressed with their logo redesign. “It’s a window…not a flag,” they say in a blog post.

We have said that Windows 8 is a complete reimagination of the Windows operating system. Nothing has been left unexplored, including the Windows logo, to evaluate how it held up to modern PC sensibilities. The Windows logo is a strong and widely recognized mark but when we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles and we also felt there was an opportunity to reconnect with some of the powerful characteristics of previous incarnations.

And with the help of Pentagram design consultants, the new, simple, almost sterile Windows 8 logo was born. For the first time in 20 years, the Windows logo goes monochromatic.

If anything, the logo that Windows 8 most closely resembles is Windows 1.0. See?

So Microsoft really went back to their roots with this one. A true “window.” Although the logo is monochromatic, each user will be able change it to other colors (all red, or all green per say) –

Our final goal was for the new logo to be humble, yet confident. Welcoming you in with a slight tilt in perspective and when you change your color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.

What do you think? Microsoft is giving up a hugely recognizable design here. Will it pay off? Will this new logo help Microsoft usher Windows into a new era? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • Mike

    They covered a lot of new ground in 7.

    Apparently they have been moved to actively innovate with the Windows OS by the rise in Apple’s popularity. That’s the only answer I can come up with when I ask myself “Where was this sort of thinking 5 years ago in Redmond”?

  • Jeremy Muncy

    It truly looks like someone simply threw this mess together, and somehow got it approved.

  • zadoc

    I feel very “meh” about this design. I much prefer the Win7 logo.

    POLL: What do you think of the new Windows 8 logo?

  • SA

    Apple has a solid logo that can appear in any number of single colors… so now Microsoft will have a solid logo that can appear in any number of single colors.

    Yep. Fits Microsoft perfectly.

  • SA

    P.S. The word is “per se”, not “per say” – but even “per se” doesn’t make sense where you’ve used it. FYI.

  • ches

    I looked…..

    My window panes are not blue; maybe Richmonds are; either way its really really boring.

    Maybe a sign for things to come?

  • Auf

    I’d rather they went back to the Windows 1.0 logo than use this monstrosity!


  • Charlie

    It’s probably long overdue! Microsoft, though clearly a good product overall, and surely a world leader in computer operating systems and other programming, is becoming a bit like the gas-guzzling, overdone SUVs we’re seeing slowly disappear from our highways.

    Computing seems to be going “lean”, and simplicity is replacing glitz and glamour, I think. Indeed, just look at how simple and bare-bones-functional many of the “apps” and other modern-day computing has already become. And, I think, rightly so, because the glitz and glamour only really serve to slow things down, and do not always provide very much real advantage in actual functionality.

    In addition, I think Microsoft (and others too, actually) have done a poor job of keeping its user-base intact and brand-loyal, by not paying enough attention to some of the simplest and most user-affecting things. They have not been as careful as they should have been (in my humble opinion) about not muddying the waters each time they updated to new product “versions”. All too often, I have found significant difficulty adapting from one Windows version to the next…simply because Microsoft did not feel the need to keep terminology, nomenclature, and other basic (but crucially important) terms, descriptions, definitions (etc.) consistent across versions. Instead, for some reason, they seem to have overlooked such “trivial” stuff, and, as any Windows user knows, going from one Windows version to the next is often rather painful, especially when working in some of the settings and other behind-the-scenes activities (i.e., “help pages”, etc.). I can understand making changes (improvements) in actual functionality, but why change definitions or terminology?

    One case in point that I personally became frustrated with when going from XP to Vista: Changing monitor settings in XP always meant going to the Control Panel, then finding “Display”. In Vista, for some reason, changing monitor settings is done in what is now called “Personalization”. OK, while I might agree the “newer” term fits alright, I still cannot understand any reasonable “need” to make such a change. Perhaps it’s simply because nobody was paying attention to the “user-friendliness” aspect? Hmmm….dunno…but all I can say is “shame on them! That’s no way to keep customers coming back, in my opinion.
    I’m just sayin’…

  • Robert Matthews

    Great visualization of the Windows logo’s. Now Microsoft has their own Timeline, too!

  • Tony

    You’re timeline is wrong. The windows 98 logo is actually the the Windows 95 logo changed to say 98. I would that the groundbreaking nature of window’s 95 would warrent that being the graphic used on your timeline.

  • sj

    ROFLMAO Seriously? Brand recognition is so important. Windows HAD a very recognizable logo and a good one. This new one is just, well bleck! What’s really funny is that they hired design consultants to come up with it – the result doesn’t say much for Pentgram’s design capability or Microsoft’s understanding of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sheesh

  • sameth

    This looks just the type of “innovation” that will finally push me into getting rid of my only windows computer once windows 7 is too old to be used. One word — Appalling

  • Jaakko J. Wallenius

    I stsarted my homecomputing career on Packard Bell also. It had Windows 95 and 16 megabytes of memory and 1,6 gigabytes of hard disk! My mobile Samsung Galaxy S II phone now has several gigabytes of memory and can 32 gigabytes on SD-card.

  • Tom Aikins

    Who cares what the logo is? Just make some software that works half as good as Apple does and I’d be happy.

  • Dalton Crist

    Who cares? It’s just a logo. But I don’t understand their reasoning behind changing their logo almost every time they update their product. A logo is supposed to identify a “brand” or “company”–not a specific product. A logo is supposed to provide rocognition of a brand’s multiple products and should be the same corporate-wide for all of their products. The concept, itself, doesn’t make any sense in my opinion.

  • Steven Cilia

    Can you see the pattern here? Each new version has a refreshed Windows logo. Although different in colours and shape, the cross within the window frame remains a distinctive windows staple. So you can tell each version of windows just by the logo. The logo will change again. Simples.

  • Rahman Mehraby

    It represents a Window, period. We must see what the functionality looks like. To me, it looks very much like the first version.

  • Karen Cole

    I like the rainbow colored Windows logo a lot better. The new design is dullsville.

  • Chris Rolph

    I don’t think that the logo is too bad, it’s clean-cut and simple, what I don’t like however, is the fact that Microsoft appears to all purposes to be attempting to mimic Apple products, I have been using the Windows 8 developers version for a few months now and personally I am less than impressed, the overall appearance with it’s accent on APPS rather than the good old ICONS give the whole thing the feel of a giant mobile phone….OK if you are a schoolkid,or perhaps even a “chav” as we call some individuals in the UK!