Microsoft has made it clear that it will go “all in” with it’s new Windows 8 operating system. The company’s future, image, and overall survivability in the computing industry ultimately depends on its flagship Windows product staying relevant with the times.It now brings a new logo to accompany its brand new operating system, which will bring a touch-based-designed user interface to Windows PCs and tablets.
A little recent background history on Microsoft’s design transition why Microsoft sees it fit to change the Windows logo now. Microsoft had been working on a redesign for its Windows Mobile OS since 2008. The design was based on a design interface it dubs “Metro,” which emphasizes solid colors, typography, minimalism, and little-to-no “interface chrome.” This interface was first used on its Zune device, and was spruced up for the Windows Phone 7 operating system. The reasoning behind Metro is that interface chrome gets in the way of content. Metro’s claim-to-fame is that it emphasizes content over interface, and it accomplishes this goal perfectly. With the Windows Phone 7.5 update, Microsoft changed the Windows Phone logo from having a circular border to having a more metro rectangle border. With that said, the Windows Phone logo should be expected to change in the future once again to follow the design principles of the new Windows 8 OS.
Microsoft could have done the same thing with the current Windows logo, but it felt it wasn’t “risky” enough. The new Windows product looks nothing like the Windows of old. The start menu is gone. The task bar is gone. Icons have been replaced with live tiles. Interface tools called charms assist the user with searching their PC for what they are looking for. The interface doesn’t even have the same minimize/maximize/close buttons on them. User navigation in Windows 8 relies on touch gestures. Windows in Windows 8 just do not function at all like the windows people were used to using for the past two decades.
The Microsoft plan is to transfer all of its products to the Metro design language. To accomplish this, it must change everything that represented Microsoft’s past designs to its new design principles. Logos are the face of a product, and if the face of a product does not match the actual product’s design, it would not make sense, create confusion, and have non-linearity among a product line. To avoid these problems, Microsoft chose to finally change the Windows flag to a new, metro-inspired design.