Microsoft’s New Windows 8 Logo: Design Triumph or Ho-Hum? [VIDEO]

As Microsoft frantically programs and polishes what may be its most important Windows update ever — Windows 8 — it has also revised the operating system’s image. Obviously, Windows 8 is a bold departure from previous editions. Now the Windows logo is being reimagined, as well, and the results may surprise some people.

Microsoft hired the global design firm Pentagram, which has done rebranding for Nissan, Walgreens, The Metropolitan Museum and countless others, to reimagine the logo. The result is a pale blue imprimatur that leans toward the clean lines of Windows 8’s new Metro interface, while paying homage to Windows logos of the past. What some people think of as the “flag” has been replaced with a four-pane window that angles off into the distance.

Early versions of the Windows logo made it clear that the flag was originally intended as a Window — what Sam Moreau, Principal Director of User Experience for Windows, called “a metaphor for computing,” in the blog post announcing the design change, However, with each iteration, the Window became wavier, until it was, well, a flag.

Interestingly, the logo is probably most inspired by the very first Windows logo design, which also had a four-pane box, though it looks little like a Window.

Considering how strikingly different Windows 8 is from any Windows OS that’s come before it, this austere and slightly dull design is a bit of a disappointment. Still, the outcome clearly aligns with the goals of the project. Microsoft wanted it to be “modern and classic” and to eschew any “faux industrial design characteristics” like rendered glass, wood or plastic. And the software giant wanted it to be “humble, yet confident.”

The default color may strike some as too weak for a logo, but Moreau said in the post that the logo will change color when you change your system colors.

What do you think of the new logo? Tell us in the comments.

Original Windows Logo

The era before they decided to add four colors.

Click here to view this gallery.

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