Windows 8 Logo Is Actually a Window

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2012-02-17 Print this article Print

Microsoft has gone back to basics with its Windows 8 logo, which looks like a Window. Previous Windows logos closely resembled a colorful flag.

Microsoft€™s devotion to its €œMetro€ design aesthetic doesn€™t stop at Windows 8, Windows Phone and the most recent Xbox Dashboard: it also influenced the new Windows 8 logo.

€œWe realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles,€ Sam Moreau, principal director of Microsoft€™s User Experience for Windows, wrote in a Feb. 17 posting on The Windows Blog.

Unlike previous iterations of the Windows logo, which embraced wavy lines to the point where people mistook it for a flag, the revised Windows 8 logo is clearly, well, a window. €œIf you look back at the origins of the logo you see that it really was meant to be a window,€ he wrote. We did less of a re-design and more to return it to its original meaning and bring Windows back to its roots.€

It€™s perhaps ironic that, despite Windows€™ logo returning to its roots, Windows 8 represents something of a radical deviation from the €œtraditional€ Windows user interface. In a bid to run effectively on both tablets and PCs, Windows 8 features a €œMetro€-style "start" screen of colorful tiles linked to applications€”the better to tap and swipe, if the device running the OS happens to feature a touch-screen. Power users and those who want the old-style Windows experience can flip from there to a fully actualized desktop, which has undergone some tweaks of its own.

Microsoft executives claim that Windows 8 will offer €œno compromises€ in either its tablet or traditional PC iterations. Indeed, Windows on ARM (the architecture that powers many of today€™s mobile devices and that Microsoft has started referring to using the acronym €œWOA€) will feature a modified version of €œOffice 15,€ the upcoming version of Microsoft€™s Office software. €œWithin the Windows desktop, WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, code-named €˜Office 15,€™€ Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft€™s Windows and Windows Live division, wrote in a Feb. 9 posting on the corporate Building Windows 8 blog. €œWOA will be a no-compromise product for people who want to have the full benefits of familiar Office productivity software and compatibility.€

Because of its presence on tablets, Apple will face competition from Apple€™s iPad and a big family of Google Android devices. Even on PCs, where the Windows franchise has long dominated, Microsoft will need to overcome many users€™ likely reluctance to upgrade from Windows 7. However it fares in those battles, at least Microsoft will have a nifty new logo.  

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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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