Microsoft Waves Goodbye to Old Windows Logo

Posted by Michael Waltzer on February 17, 2012 02:04 PM

“Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?” asked Pentagram's Paula Scher, the designer behind the new logo for Microsoft's Windows 8.  

The result of that conversation: the new logo for Windows, above right, which is an actual window, slightly angled, and blue. This style is supposed to reflect movement, and the fast pace of the new operating system. If you look back at their old logos, it was always meant to be a window, although throughout the years it mysteriously evolved into a flag, until now.

According to a blog post by Microsoft's Windows team,

In some ways you can trace the evolution of the Windows logo in parallel with the advancements of the technology used to create logos. From the simple two color version in Windows 1.0 to the intricate and detailed renderings in Windows Vista and Windows 7, each change makes sense in the context in which it was created. As computing capabilities increased, so did the use of that horse power to render more colors, better fonts, and more detailed and life-like 3D visual effects like depth, shadows, and materiality. We have evolved from a world of rudimentary low resolution graphics to today’s rich high-resolution systems. And what started as a simple “window” to compliment the product name became a flying or waving flag.

But if you look back to the origins of the logo you see that it really was meant to be a window. "Windows" really is a beautiful metaphor for computing and with the new logo we wanted to celebrate the idea of a window, in perspective. Microsoft and Windows are all about putting technology in people's hands to empower them to find their own perspectives. And that is what the new logo was meant to be. We did less of a re-design and more to return it to its original meaning and bringing Windows back to its roots – reimagining the Windows logo as just that – a window.

Check out the evolution below:


B Cid Republic of the Philippines says:

I may be missing something here but the logo does not seem to suggest any of the richness and power should erupt with the help of Windows.

February 20, 2012 03:39 AM #

Michael Tiedemann United States says:

Agree. The emperor has no clothes. It's amazing how "celebrities" in the design industry can intimidate even a big client such as Microsoft into seeing qualities in a design that are just not there.

It's sad that a venerable firm such as Pentagram may now be believing it's own press releases.

February 20, 2012 07:12 AM #

Lance Boge United States says:

does the logo seem a bit "apple-ish"

February 20, 2012 07:59 AM #

Robson Santos Brazil says:

Maybe because it was designed in some Apple computer.

February 20, 2012 10:31 AM #

Kyong Hwe Lee Korea says:

It seems to show the directionality of MS & Windows

February 23, 2012 09:54 AM #

Ignatius U.A.E. says:

It was flying. Now it is dead.

February 20, 2012 08:34 AM #

Jacqueline Xu United States says:

It lacks aesthetic.

February 20, 2012 10:50 AM #

Pramil India says:

Don't know whether changing a logo results in fortune changes or not but it does induce freshness and buzz into a brand. And when such changes come from branding powerhouses like Microsoft there surely going to be a confirmed media big bang and the hype and all. So, new Windows has arrived. Following graphic designs gave me a straight and simple insight into this logo - it looks somewhat inspired by Windows Mobile theme - tiles and mostly in the blue. Here they are slanted, blue tiles to make it look like a moving window. Color looks aesthetically rich and soothing to the prospects eyes. But the brand name text, "Windows 8" looks a tad bigger and solid. It lacks the fluidity that has been suggested behind the slanted tiles. Instead of solid edges, curves could have made this logo more open, friendly and contemporary.

February 20, 2012 11:11 AM #

Peter Canada says:

It is exactly what it needs to be
Simple no extraneous transitions fade outs waves, actually shows a sense of maturity
It's easy to nay say ... Especially if your own work is old and tired, but this I promise you is good design

February 20, 2012 11:32 AM #

Blanka United States says:

so .... the evil empire has a new logo (can't call it windblows any longer, this window does not do flagwave) ... any thoughts?

February 20, 2012 11:48 AM #

Damian United Kingdom says:

My main concern is that it has lost the flow and dynamism in the wave. It's now static and I find the 2D cross over the 'perspective' of the window jarring.

This is just the logo though. Will be interesting to see how the identity is applied across everything.

February 21, 2012 07:19 AM #

Alp United Kingdom says:

Why do companies keep fussing w logos? Whether you liked it or not the Windows logo had become iconic. Now its a reverse Finnish flag (a lifeless one at that) - and they were trying to get away from a flag. I guess Pentagram is becoming as pedestrian as all other design agencies out there. What a shame...

February 22, 2012 09:05 AM #

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