Microsoft, after 35 years in the ring, stands at the forefront of technology. They may have been dominating the early rounds of the fight for consumer electronics Champion of the World, however, in the last few years we have seen a comeback like the world has never seen before. iPod — an unexpected jab. iPhone — a solid uppercut. iPad — a dazzling right hook that leaves Microsoft dazed and confused.
“Where am I?” Microsoft asks as the stars start to fade from view. “Are we too old for this?” is the thought that follows– time to get back to basics.
The retaliation by Microsoft over the past couple years may not be Jobs-ian in its comeback, but it is, however, commendable. The Zune (which is apparently dying), Xbox 360, and Slate are not what we would have expected to see from Microsoft in the past. Pleasant surprises, even if I bought the Apple equivalents instead.
The rest of the Microsoft menu is filled with slightly tweaked conventional classics such as Microsoft Office which is the workhorse needed to glaze the eyes of that nine-to-five guy in a suit — only extrapolate that to every office park and building across the globe and you have a fair idea of why Microsoft isn’t the cool kid on the block.
After 25 years of the Microsoft brand we are finally starting to see something new, not good mind you, but new. Subjectively, I hate this new logo, as I am sure we are going to see many others hate it as well. It could be worthy of being called Gap bad…if it weren’t for Microsoft.
Which brings me to my point…
This new Microsoft brand is sleepy, uninspired, unimaginative, and just flat-out boring. With the weight of the Office products bearing down on everything Microsoft this new logo isn’t given much room for expression. In other words, it’s perfect. Nothing says Microsoft like unimaginative, boring and purpose-built. The people buying Microsoft products are a certain type of person, a person who wants to store their emails and Excel sheets while being able to load Michael Bolton’s Greatest Hits onto their MP3 player. They also don’t mind a billion notification windows popping up every other minute, but I digress.
Microsoft is not that other company in the ring, notably Apple. Nor does it want to be. Microsoft just wants to fight the Microsoft way. This new logo will not change the way we view Microsoft. Rather it will reinforce their core values and why billions of users buy their products year in and year out. In a way, this new logo is Microsoft is wiping the blood off their face, tightening the gloves and coming out for another round. It’s a call to not be embarrassed anymore.
- Don Willow, Graphic Designer