Forget everything you thought you knew about Microsoft's branding -- the software giant has just revealed a bold new logo direction, that sees the company name depicted in grey lettering, alongside four coloured blocks.
Expanding on the creative maelstrom that led to the exultant new logo, Microsoft reveals that its new effort has two components. Opening a window into the mind of those who drafted, sweated and toiled over the exciting new branding, Microsoft explains "the logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol".
In case the precise composition of the new logo seems unclear, Microsoft has provided an explanatory diagram. Here's the breakdown:
Hopefully that clears up any confusion. Font fans will be excited to learn that the word 'Microsoft' has been lovingly rendered in Segoe, which is the same font the corporation uses in products and marketing communications.
The coloured squares represent -- what else -- Microsoft's "diverse portfolio of products". Watching the helpful video below reveals that orange represents Office, blue represents Windows, green represents Xbox and yellow, er, looks yellowy.
"It's been 25 years since we've updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change," Microsoft says. Below is the old logo -- let me know which one you prefer.
The new logo will be used "prominently", Microsoft promises, so expect to see it on official websites and TV ads. Finally Microsoft warns that "fully implementing a change like this takes time, so there may be other instances where you will see the old logo being used for some time". In such an event, do not panic.
Swallowing the sarcasm, the logo is clearly an effort to bring Microsoft's official branding in line with the clean, stark look of Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox and the new. For my money, it looks alright, but hasn't exactly blown my mind.
What do you think of the new logo? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.