Microsoft Comes With a New Avatar!
Neha is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
After 25 years Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) unveils a new look with an exciting new logo. For a long time Microsoft has been primarily into the software industry with most of its bread and butter coming from the operating system (Windows for desktop and Android for Smartphone). The world is changing with smartphones and tablets displacing the desktop on the technological frontier. Is this change of logo, an indication from Microsoft that it is keeping up with these rapid changes?
They have combined the multicolored symbol found on Windows products with Microsoft’s traditional word mark, with an intention to combine tradition with the company’s heritage. Microsoft admitted that this logotype of Windows 8 will better reflect its Metro style design principles and will signal a complete re-imagination of the Windows operating system. The new logo makes such of the Segoe font, which Microsoft indicated was to imply "digital motion," -- reportedly a key to its interface and design philosophy. Now, the logo combines four pastel colors - orange, green, blue and yellow - arranged into a square. Microsoft explained that the four colors are associated with its main product lines: blue for Windows, orange for Office, and green for Xbox. Yellow, presumably, will be associated with Microsoft’s enterprise products, some of its most profitable segments.
This seems to be an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as they are prepared to release new versions of nearly all of their products. From Windows 8 (Both PC and Phone version) to Windows RT to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs.
The new corporate logo adorns the Microsoft Web page, and will be used to sign off all Microsoft TV advertising as well as other forms of marketing. The logo also currently appears on three Microsoft retail stores today in Boston, Seattle’s University Village and Bellevue, Washington. It will be added to all Microsoft stores in the next few months, Microsoft said, although the company may need some time to replace it across all of its digital properties and pages.
“Every change in the logo attempts to increase the excitement around the brand.” With re-branding and innovation becoming an important agenda to market oneself today, changing the company or website logo seem to be in the priority list of marketing heads. Under pressure, Microsoft needs to rebrand itself to compete with younger rivals like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Apple has been a very tough competitor. With the launch of iPhone they have taken this battle to the next frontier. The look and feel of iOS (Both on PC and Phone) has attracted many users towards itself from windows. Despite being priced on the higher side people were shifting to the sleek styling of Apple. But the situation might not remain the same anymore. The latest seminar on the September 12, was kind of a disappointment for many. As against the expectations there wasn’t much in store in terms of innovation or exclusivity factor. This is where Microsoft is looking to hit back hard and will soon be launching all its tools with its revamped version.
Why this Makeover?
New versions of existing products: How a company is perceived begins with the customer experience, and Microsoft is rolling out new versions of all its core products, from Windows 8 for PCs and phones to new versions of Office and Xbox services. It's betting big that this crop of new products will excite and delight users while convincing an increasingly skeptical industry that it means business.
Aggressive moves into search, mobile and social: Spinning existing products isn't going to be nearly enough to stem the tide in an increasingly social and mobile world. First there was Bing for search. Then Microsoft's first branded tablet, Surface. It pulled the plug on MSNBC to gain more content freedom and reinvented Hotmail as Outlook. Expect more aggressive moves against Apple, Google and Facebook.
Iconic brand: Now think about the iconic Apple brand. The consistent look and feel across all Apple devices and everywhere you experience the brand -- in the stores, on the website, everywhere. That's what Microsoft aims to do: bring everything under one iconic brand. That's the reason behind the simple, clean look and the change in logo font to the one used in its products. And it's promoting the four-color symbol to show that it's more than just a one-trick pony, a PC software company.
Putting the world on notice: Lastly, CEO Steve Ballmer and company are letting everyone know this isn't your father's Microsoft. It's sending a message to all of Microsoft's key stakeholders -- investors, employees, device-makers, pundits, end users -- that it's aware the world is moving on and that it's not going to give up without a knockdown, drag-out fight. Microsoft has put the world on notice that it intends to reinvent itself.
Microsoft is trying to compete with two of its biggest nemeses –Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple by coming up with its new look. By revamping its logo, Microsoft is trying to signal that it has changed its thinking and its products to cater to people who are interacting with technology much differently now. Now, more computing tasks are being done on the touch-based devices such as smart phones and tablets instead of personal computers tethered to keyboard and mice. Apart from the Android v/s windows war against Google, Microsoft is investing a lot of money on its search engine BING also.
There was a recent campaign on this very battle for the search engine fight versus Google. Google is the market leader in the search engine market as all of us know. To compete with this giant on this side will be difficult, but they are not giving it up so easy. That is why they have announced publicly that Bing is a better search engine than Google with a ratio of 3:2 as per the research done by some third party. Google is also the market leader in the smartphone software market with the Android operating system.
Microsoft believes a radical change to Windows will ensure that the company survives the technological upheaval. Windows 8, due to hit the market on Oct 26, displays software applications in a mosaic of tiles and has been engineered so that it works on both touch based tablets and traditional PCs’. Microsoft is also releasing its own Windows 8- powered tablet to compete against the iPad, accompanied by a new version of Office applications. There will also be a Windows 8 operating system for smartphones. Thus, it looks like Microsoft will give a tough competition to its competitors.
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