I will always love
3.1 / 95/98 that brings back memories. This new one is way too bland.
Microsoft has detailed the thinking behind the latest change in its logo for Windows, saying the new design brings the software back to its roots. “If you look back to the origins of the logo you see that it really was meant to be a window,” blogged Sam Moreau, principal director of user experience for Windows. "Windows really …
Clare funny you should use the phrase commercial grade when talking about Windows.
From the free dictionary
Commercial Grade - of the kind or quality used in commerce; average or inferior;
So what you're saying is that to run a business system, you should perhaps settle for something inferior to other options? Does seem to work for a good part of the world, but it does seem a little under-ambitious!
Incidentally, one of my favourite factoids - The word 'bodge' as in 'to bodge' is actually derived from 'bodgers' who were considered master craftmen!
I'd love hearing the great web specialist you are explain how come "commercial grade" software fares so bad in areas like... web servers for example.
Surely technical reasons have nothing to do with it, all those high profile companies who make billions out of the internet are just cheap asses who can't be bothered to pay a few bucks for proper software, right?
Just like those Top-500 supercomputers owners: who would have thought that after investing so much in the hardware, only one out of 500 would have enough budget left to buy decent Microsoft software?
In these days of rampant amateurism, it's reassuring to see professionals like you stand up against the unwashed masses.
> If you are going to run business computers you need to use commercial grade software.
You most certainly do. And for that very reason nearly every job I've had for many years has been based around one Linux flavour or another.
I did work for one place that used Windows, but their hands were tied, as they'd allied themselves with a Windows only GIS server. Poor guys...
Why did they need to get a design company in, when they simply copied the logo from the 80s. 30million for no work. Good work if you can get it.
The logo is shit though. I mean, look at it. Dull as fuck, bland, boring. This is the message they are getting across for their new OS? Sigh.
Also, this version of Windows is so radically different in design to any previous version (all of which have looks pretty much the same - just shinier), they should have called it a new name. Left Windows in the past and moved on to new new pastures with Metro. I know it's all about branding and Windows is a mega-bucks brand name. But this is Microsoft, and a new brand name from them would've created massive waves.
Or totally out of inspiration? Perhaps they fired the only guy who was capable to come up with new logo design every time ?
I know I've become quite the critic when it comes to Windows 8 but here I simply see yet another fail. Ever since 3.1 the logo has always been RGB-Y, its very distinguishable and plain out recognizable. Even computer illiterates will pick the logo up as being Windows.
And now that everyone knows that this specific logo represents Windows you're going to change it into something which is so plain that its not even remotely fun to look at ?
otoh; maybe its a change for the best after all. Should Win8 indeed turn out into a disappointment (which I personally think is going to happen) then maybe some people won't associate it with Microsoft Windows due to the changed logo ;-)
Yes that's right, the last time I went to buy an operating system for my computer, I thought "you know what, I'm going with Windows this time becasue the logo looks cool".
Get real. It's just a logo - it's simple, effective, and everyone knows what it represents - which is precisely what good marketing is all about - brand awareness, conveying your product in a useful manner.
"Less is more". Or in the case of your predictable anti-Windows tirades, "Less is a God-send".
"It's just a logo - it's simple, effective, and everyone knows what it represents - which is precisely what good marketing is all about - brand awareness,"
Bzzt, sorry, but if you remove the text and just show the "flat flag" to a random person in the street, I absolutely guarantee that none of them will know what it represents, which is precisely why this is bad marketing -> brand anonymity.
It seems to me that the only thing "marketing consultants" are *really* good at is selling their own company. Maybe that's not so surprising, but you'd think that a company the size of Microsoft could protect itself against such sharks.
"Bzzt, sorry, but if you remove the text and just show the "flat flag" to a random person in the street, I absolutely guarantee that none of them will know what it represents"
In all fairness they would probably say something like "I dunno, a Window? Maybe some tiles?" - which pretty much fits the whole Windows and Live Tiles business.
Once people start using Windows 8 and the logo is on the charms bar, it'll soon get recognition...
@Phoenix50 - Actually, last time I went to buy an operating system for my computer none were available (pre-Linux days and Unix was too expensive). I had to buy a new PC to get the current Microsoft OS (granted, I had not purchased a PC in 4 years but the new OS would not work on my existing hardware). One of the reasons I went out and bought a Mac instead.
"Ever since 3.1 the logo has always been RGB-Y, its very distinguishable and plain out recognizable."
I'm not so sure. Starting with Google and Playstation, bright, bold colours have become something of the norm. The iconicity of the Windows logo was that it was four colours -- which colours they were doesn't really matter. Then there's the individual colour branding of MS Office apps, which has bled across to LibreOffice, imitating the ancient art of crisp-packet design (that's potato chips for those who get up late in the morning), which has further devalued Windows-colours as a brand.
And aside from that, colour technology has moved on. With fades and wipes and grades and alpha-channeling, on-screen colour works in ways that are far more different from what came before. The Start button (which is on it's way out anyway) has become increasingly out of step with every generation of Windows since 95, because it's a product of its time -- when Windows 3.x ruled the roost, there wasn't much more than a few bright, bold colours, and that was exciting. The Windows logo screamed "look, we're in colour!!!!", nowadays it just screams, and delivers no message.
> The iconicity of the Windows logo was that it was four colours
I have to wonder how many customers even notice this, frankly. I've used, and developed commercial software for, every desktop and server version of Windows since 2.0 (except Windows ME; presumably some of what I wrote would run on it, but I don't know that anyone ever tried). I couldn't have told you what the logo for any of those versions looked like without looking it up. If I saw one of those logos without the accompanying text, I'm not sure I could identify what product it was associated with.
Now, it's entirely possible that I'm in the minority here. Certainly I seem to care less about color than many other people (doesn't help that I have deficient green response, a mild form of "color blindness"). And I have never had any patience for brand loyalty or suffered marketers gladly, so perhaps I am biased against remembering logos. But I too have to wonder about Microsoft's ROI on this sort of exercise. Is it really going to mean $30M in additional profits?
I had to take an LC II to the Apple shop to see if they could mess with it and get it to boot. They were very nice, and could find all the technical manuals,but could not. That's not the point.
In the box was a series of pristine Apple Logo stickers from 1995ish. They were the apple bitten out bit, but in rainbow colours. The blue t-shirted masses nearly collapsed in fruitgasms over them.
So two points "Not even Apple fanbois take things that far" is wrong, some do. Second Apple has changed its logo through colour apples to minimalist single ones.
Not as bold and decisive as IBM, apparently, who've stuck with their "8-bar" logo since 1972, while Apple's fiddled with the coloring on theirs. (Of course Apple didn't even exist in 1972. Bunch o' uppity kids.)
[Further trolling on this topic is left as an exercise for the reader.]
We're a Mac household, by and large. We do use iPhones, Macbooks, and got an Apple TV as a present. The youngest son uses an iPod touch because it came free with a computer as part of a promotion.
Partly it's a quality issue; the hardware (aside from one fan bearing after eight years of heavy use) has been very reliable. That also means that we don't need to buy replacement hardware as often, so the total cost of ownership is, at worst, comparable to Windows. Software stability is another; our work Windows machines need a lot more handholding and seem to fall over a good bit. And I won't even get into security issues (though MS seems to have improved over the years; about time, too.)
However, I'm converting my old G5 to a Linux file server and we have no iPad because we have no need for it. And the only reasons whymy older son hasn't bought an XBox is because 1) he's too lazy to earn the money, and 2) if he had the cash, he wouldn't buy something that unreliable.
Actually, it's getting worse. I think the original logo was just one colour, but people have now started shading the areas differently and this merely strengthens the perception. Check out the logo as used on http://www2.sainsburys.co.uk/activekids/.
I thought there was a law against the depiction of minors performing sex acts?
Is the purpose of these logos to be liked?
Or is being recognised more important? Being talked about?
Is the aim to evoke a positive response for the product (rather than the logo itself) - in the case of the Olympics, who doesn't like at least one of Lisa Simpson and blow jobs?
Design / marketing's not my area so I'd hesitate to suggest that the people who do do this for a living are doing it wrong.
The 1996 original design of the Ford Ka still looks like a heap of hideous fugly junk! Even about 2-3 years after it's been replaced with a better looking design, there are still way to many of the grotesquely awful original Ford Ka's on UK roads.
Every one of them needs to be taken away and violently destroyed.
Anyway ... that's off-topic. The new logo for Windows 8? Meh!
Bad example. The original Ka is still a mess. They took an a previous generation Fiesta platform, then stuck plastic to it in all areas.
Another example: The Olympics 2012 logo. Still looks like Lisa Simpson performing a sexual act. Still looks awful. I can't believe they stuck with it.
The original Ka wasn't that big a gamble as it was a complementary model to existing models. They already had the Fiesta for sale that it was based on, it was almost a styling exercise to dip their toe in the water with "New Edge Styling" such that they didn't repeat the same mistake in launching the Ford Sierra in 1982 to a market that wasn't ready for it.
I'd say the Focus was more of a gamble, as it was going after the conservative mid rangers. They even kept the Escort alive just in case it backfired.
I actually think that the old Windows 1.0/2.0 logo looks more Metro-ey, with different sized panes.
That logo looks suspiciously like my usual workspace on the laptop I am posting from right now, in negative: TWM with a light blue-green background, with 4 xterm widows, one at each corner.
I originally posted that arrangement* on 4chan some years ago and I still have the screenshot, so I might even have proof of prior art. Should I sue?
*very efficient, since you ask. You can arrange the reduced windows between the xterms, plenty of space.
>> "One of Pentagram's designers asked, “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”"
Dear editor: This quote was from Paula Scher, the Principal of the design firm (Pentagram), highly celebrated as one of the top Graphic Designers in the world, not "one of Pentagram's designers." She runs the company, I'm sure she didn't actually do the design (I'm not sure how I feel about the actual design yet). Still, look her up on wikipedia, and please give her credit like you gave Sam Moreau a name and title next to his quote.
Sam Moreau is the writer of the blog from which the information in this article was taken, so he has been given 'credit', as he ought to be according to established standards.
If you look carefully at the article, the word 'blogged' is in a mid-blue font. You may have thought that this was a crude attempt at the use of graphic design aspects by the author. It is not, it is an indication of technical functionality. If you click the blue word, you will be taken to the blog which is the source of the article.
In Sam Moreau's blog, Paula Scher is given full credit for the design. So, unlike you, I am sure that she actually did the design. Also, a link is provided to Pentagram (using the magic blue word technique) in case anybody wants to read more about Pentagram.
Personally, I'd be more interested in the team that designed the cardboard box that the computer ships in, because they really are interesting and very useful.
While it's a simple design it lacks finesse.
The typeface is horrible and the windows are out of proportion as a simple visual device.
However, to have corrected those to create the real subliminal messaging that excellent graphic design brings to "marketing" would have made it Apple'ish.
So, to reflect the true value of Windows the designers were left with no option than to create something second rate, visually.
One of Steve Jobs' strengths was a strong understanding of visual impact.
Can someone please find out how much Pentagram were paid for this? Actually, on second thoughts don't. It's probably about ten times what I earn in a year and I'm already feeling grumpy enough, this morning.
Surprised no-one has picked up on the "Redmond, start your photocopiers!" aspect of this; namely Microsoft abandoning garish rainbow-coloured logo in favour of a more understated monochrome one... only a decade or so after Apple did similar.
[Oh noes. I has dun a fanboi!]
Dunno, but a company I worked for had a new logo designed by graphic arts consultants and it cost about £50,000 we understood. We did not just get the logo for that though, we also got several pages of unparalleled bullshit about the inspiration behind it.
The logo was simply the company's initials (two letters), one in red and one in white, on a blue circular background.
Everyone immediately discovered that when you photocopied it (on a B&W copier) the red letter came out exactly the same shade of grey as the background, so only the white letter remained visible!
In response to this cock-up the company announced that, although the logo was "perfectly satisfactory for most purposes" they would commission an alternative logo (from the same graphics company!) "for any material that would need to be photocopied". Since practically everything was photocopied at some point, and no doubt would be at the recipient's end too, this was piling BS on top of BS.
I lost my respect for the company, and felt ashamed to send letters with this logo and my name on the same piece of paper. That is how important a logo is.
I've seen worse. The logo might have been sat on its fat butt as if doing nothing while failing to make eye contact with the viewer, possibly in the form of some animal that goes to the end of the Earth to avoid competition, one that fails to implement basic functionality (I don't know, say - a flightless bird) and poos itself when challenged.
"Windows really is a beautiful metaphor for computing"
'S true. Windows really is a beautiful metaphor for *Windows computing*:
Needs constant cleaning and maintenance
Not the most secure part of any home or enterprise
Easy to see through (especially when you're selling double glazing) but hard to avoid
As crap as the Olympic logo is, it does at least get your attention. How can Microsoft sanction something so dull? And the font kerning is pretty crap, they should have at least moved the dot on the i down so that the top lined up with the top of the W.
As with the Olympic logo whatever they paid the agency was far, far too much. An intern could do a better job in MS Paint.
'why do Microsoft spend so much money on this sort of thing' WHY! because it is so important and they actually spend a lot less time and attention on it than Apple. People do actually buy IT for any number of reasons BUT one of them is definitely design of the product brand. This is one of the reasons Apple stay on top. (Not the only reason but a significant one). But you guys at the Register surely get this! Brand design is about tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience. Do I like the new Windows logo? Do I like the London Olympics branding. YES, I like new, I like different, it lets me know something has changed. Maybe in this world today BRAND design is the only thing that makes your product really different... now I expect that will get the technical guys really going... answers on a postcard...
Stuart Greenfield -
"Brand design is about tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience."
Marketing dweeb, no question about it. One of the few downsides of my work is that in the course of designing a campaign, I'm forced to work with marketing dweebs, and this is how they talk. No, really; this is pretty much the way they talk normally -- not just in meetings or press releases, but in the cafeteria, in the bar, at lunches. It's like they're mutants, something not human, but something weird and creepy and oily.
(space alien icon, because, honestly, marketing dweebs are from another goddamn' planet)
What a brilliant exposition of ad-speak!
The rest fits in perfectly as well:
"Of the poet’s compassionate soul which contrived through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other. And one is left with a profound and vivid insight into… err…
Into whatever it was …
…that the poem was about…
Just substitute "poet's" with "adman's" (or should I rather say "adperson's"? I'm not good with pc-speak) and Bob's your uncle.
...let me know something has changed... (and I paraphrased your line).
So, the fact that there's a huge "8" next to Windows isn't enough to tell customers that this is the new version of Windows?
I have always been under the impression that the only real reasons for a new corporate logo are either 1) to waste resources or 2) an attempt to distance the company from a recent mistake.
Maybe it's just me, but apart from being incredibly boring, I'd say this logo has technical flaws, that really don't look good for a tech company. The blue shape is in perspective, but the white lines are not. The horizontal line should taper towards the left, as the blue shape does. The fact that it doesn't leads to a weird, presumably unintended optical illusion, which makes the windows on the left and right sides seem to be different sizes (maybe they are! But that would be strange window design). Maybe they did this so it would still work at low resolutions, but that's not a good reason.
The old flag designs may have been a bit garish, but I thought they were clever, by taking the Windows metaphor, and making it 'flexible', 'dynamic' and 'iconographic'. I wish they'd sort it out, I do like windows, but all of their marketing seems to fail and confuse.
It all makes work for the marketing men to do...
The old logo has been around a long time, everybody knows it: sketch a monochrome version in a cartoon and people will recognise the reference. It is a brand, stamp it on a product and, love 'em or hate 'em, we know who's product it is.
But where's the marketing glory in that? So bring out the whale song and joss sticks, someone want to show how clever they are. Or not.
wtf there's no Windows 89
Imho it looks like M$ is getting a bit back to it's roots with the Windows 1.x and 2.x logos, and naturally of course (as others have said) it also looks like Metro tiles. You'll have to excuse me for being an old Windows flag guy but I think I can live with this new one.
Pentagram is, and always has been, a Mac house, according to Ms Scher:
“We didn’t invest in anything else. We started that way, we bought better Macs, we bought faster Macs, we bought more Macs, we still buy Macs.”
Isn't this fun?
Actually, I care, and I'm sure quite a few other people do also, who'd rather not have to hold in our vomit while forced to look at some hideously deformed collagen and botox monstrosity with miniskirted tree-trunk legs and varicose veins like the Amazon river system trying desperately to recapture its youth, down at the local shopping mall!
B'WAHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAHHHHH.
Jeezus H. Bicycle-Riding CHRIST. That goddamn' logo looks as if it were done in about ten minutes, as soon as somebody realized that the client pitch meeting was in fifteen minutes. The sad thing is that Microsoft coughed up a massive wad of cash for that logo.
Still, I do have to give the designers credit for making sure that the shade of blue they used didn't match the value of the infamous BSOD Blue. Still, they couldn't have picked a more bland shade if they tried. It's also worth noting that the shade of blue they've picked is very much like the kind of electric pastel shades common in the Rounded Rectangle School Of Web 2.0 Pseudo 70s Retro Mod Design, which is already pretty much "played" (as we designers say). Seriously, man; colors like that belong on the shelf with such relics as your Late 80s Designing With Two Colors Which Should Never Appear Together (remember all those goddamn' print pieces designed with teal and purple? Sadly, I do).
So, just to reiterate: B'WAHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAHHHHH...
Well, I can see why you'd be laughing - I'm sure all Pentagram's best and brightest will be deserting them for your company now. Hope you ace the next Windows logo once Microsoft realise what a blunder they've made (if they can afford you).
I don't use Windows anyway, so I don't REALLY give a toss. But I think those who point out it's not distinctive are right on
Firstly, they've used variations of the Windows 3.1 on up Windows logo for a looong time, and it is certainly recongizable by a lot of people. Throwing that out the window is not smart. Although, they are completely redoing the interface anyway.
But, more significantly, using 4 blue squares as a logo, umm... it doesn't stand out, and it's easy for some unrelated on-screen element to look like some blue boxes, especiallly given the fvwm-like (or dare I say it twm-like?) interface they seem to be favoring.
does that mean this will appear on start-up when its loading oh wait you may not catch it quick enough if Microsoft claims that windows can boot in 8 seconds lol. doesn't look impressive to me think ill stick with windows 7 its better than xp and I see no need to upgrade for a long time windows 7 works for me and does what I want it to do.
And no-one said the most obvious statement: all that matters in the way it looks is that it must be inoffensive. It achieves that simple goal.
And why should it be inoffensive? Because the vast majority of computer users/buyers have their OS chosen for them by someone else. And that 'someone' does not care about the quality of the brand logo. So it really really REALLY doesn't fecking matter.
For some unfathomable reason Microsoft have decided with Windows Phone 7 and Metro that everyone really likes a single colour scheme across all their tiles. Apparently the days of being able to pick out an action by a familiar shape AND colour are gone.
So in that context the logo makes sense I guess.
Fortunately most 3rd party apps put colour into their icons. to brighten things up but it still looks extremely bland in the default apps and I don't believe for a second that it makes things more usable either. Can't even change the background colour of a tile in WP7.5.
With the introduction of this logo, now we can do things like "Blue, Blue, my World is Blue, Blue is my World 'cause Windows 8 My Data."
Stare at the the blue boxes long enough, and the lines separating them will start to fill in with the blue color. Windows is all illusion!
"Yes that's right, the last time I went to buy an operating system for my computer, I thought "you know what, I'm going with Windows this time becasue the logo looks cool".
Aesthetics over function? With the exception of the design (sic) community, isn't that exactly what the majority of people do when they're choosing a Mac?
A very apt logo given that the IT world is dumbing down and Microsoft couldn't recognise a strategic advantage if it jumped up and kicked them in the head...
Perzackly! Most of my cow-orkers seem to like to run everything full-screen. I'm the only one who sticks with the "messy pile of paper on a desk" metaphor. "Windows" was always a rubbish name for an OS, nowadays its both rubbish an largely irrelevant. Especially "Windows Server"...
Apple's marketing design style may be minimalist, but it's always had a certain amount of elegance to it. The Windows 8 logo has all the elegance of a brick.
As someone who's done graphic design exclusively on Macs since he moved over from "traditional" design in 1985, I find it embarassing that this boring-assed logo was designed by a Mac-based studio, likely with Adobe Illustrator -- not a minimalist tool at all -- which makes it even more embarassing.
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