“Microsoft unveiled a new look Thursday morning as it prepares for a torrent of product launches and updates. ‘It's been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change,’ the company said in a blog post. ‘This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products.’” – The Los Angeles Times
Dear Loyal Shareholders:
This is an incredibly exciting day for all of us! Microsoft Corporation has a new logo... and I have to tell you that now is the perfect time for a change. For the first time since the company was founded in 1975, we have a logo that is not just black and white. Our marketing department recently—very recently—learned that a corporate logo can indeed, legally, contain color. So the new Microsoft logo contains four colors. No, five! Not even the name of the company is in black, in fact. The name of the company is in gray!
The previous perfect time for a change was around this time last year, you might recall. At that time, we changed our corporate slogan from “Your potential. Our passion.” to “Be What’s Next.” And that’s a credo we still believe in. Our new logo—the one with all the colors—is what’s next, so that’s what we’re going to be! But we’re not using that slogan any longer. In fact, we’re not using any slogan at all. The marketing department recently learned also that a logo does not have to have a slogan, so we’re going to try that out for a while. (Our first slogan was “Where do you want to go today?” Unfortunately, the answer was often, “the Apple Store.”)
In any event, Microsoft isn’t in the habit of looking back. Behind us is where all of our mistakes are! We’re a company that looks forward, and right now—at this perfect time—we’re looking forward to using our new logo.
Why, you might ask, is now the perfect time for a new logo? Is it because we’re preparing to release new versions of nearly all of our products? That’s exactly why. At Microsoft, we have a history of releasing new versions of nearly all of our products only to have nearly all of our customers hate nearly everything about the new versions, with the result that many Microsoft loyalists “reverse update” their computers to the last versions of our products that they didn’t despise. Our thinking is: If that happens this time around, we’ll just return to our old logo and blame everything on what was obviously an entirely different company, with its colorful logo and gray name, not the real, black-and-white Microsoft. We might even sue.
But why Thursday, August 23, 2012? Why is this “now” particularly “perfect”? Our in-house astrology department has the answer to that question, but they’re keeping it quiet. Something about jinxing the perfection, I’ve been told, unofficially.
Now a little bit about this great new logo. It has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype—that is, the name of the company, Microsoft—we’re using the typeface Segoe, which is a word we made up, after we made up the typeface, although we might be changing the name and/or look of the typeface at the next perfect opportunity. You might notice that the bars of the f & t at the end of the logotype are a single stroke. This alludes to the company’s support of marriage equality.
The symbol part of the new logo comprises four colored squares, arranged themselves into a square. Clockwise from the upper left, the individual squares signify diversity (orange), profitability (green), outsourcing (yellow), and reliable technology (blue). The negative space in the logo takes the form of a subtle cross, which represents Christianity.
Starting immediately, you’ll be seeing the new corporate logo displayed prominently, primarily at our corporate headquarters, but also at our Microsoft retail stores. (You didn’t know we have retail stores? We do. Some of them are at our corporate headquarters.) Implementing a global rebranding like this takes time, so there might be instances when you see the old logo being used. But don’t you worry for a moment that this isn’t the perfect time for a change. It is. It really is. Until next time.
Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.