Microsoft trademark reveals Microsoft Store logo

Microsoft Store logo

A fortnight ago, detailed plans of the long anticipated Microsoft Store were revealed in all its theoretical glory when Gizmodo published over 50 slides from a Powerpoint presentation prepared by the project’s consultancy firm.

At the time, Microsoft acknowledged the plans but insists the plans are early prototypes and have not been finalized. Now it appears they’ve made up their minds on at least one thing, the logo, having just filed it last week at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The design, which bears very strong resemblance to the Windows logo in both color and form, is registered to cover a multitude of goods and services including “retail store services and online retail services featuring computers, computer hardware, software, computer games, computer peripherals, portable music players and accessories, personal digital assistants, cell phones and accessories, video game consoles and accessories, webcams, books, clothing, back packs, messenger bags, computer bags and novelty items”.

I wonder if “novelty items” include the kitchen sink.

49 insightful thoughts

  1. This logo doesn’t look “consumerish” enough for me, I think that the target audience could not get it. I think that average consumer which will go into those stores would prefer something more edgy. But for me, it looks well.

  2. @WE3R_Cz: I almost have to wonder if going with a standard Windows logo would have been better, because even if it is not the most edgy thing ever, at least people would recognize it.

    I find the “retail store services bit” to be interesting. There have been plenty of rumors of Microsoft retail stores in the past (as I’ve even detailed in my blog), but nothing has ever come of them. Obviously there would be challenges (such as which OEMs have their products featured), but one can’t help but wonder if brick-and-mortar stores might help improve Microsoft’s public perception and help sell the Windows brand.

  3. @ Evangelist

    “obviously there would be challenges (such as which OEMs have their products featured)”

    That one is easy – which every one pays the most! Microsoft has said this operation is more about customer relations and data collection than anything else, and for other companies that second part is key. Microsoft is obviously going to be charging for the right to view the data and probably even more to be featured in the store.

  4. Personally I think its hilarious someone says the logo will be confusing.. back to reality, where stores have logos, this ones actually pretty neat.

  5. The more I look at it the more I like it. It’s actually kind of a friendly logo.

    As my design friends would ask, though: How does it translate to grayscale?

  6. It should still be recognizable due to the multiple tone ‘rings’ and how it is split into 4 parts.. the reality is when seen in greyscale it will likely not be a critical.

  7. @Stephen: I think that’s an overestimation. There are bound to be people out there who won’t recognize a reiteration like this. There’s a good reason that Intel has kept the same basic swoosh all of these years, despite the elimination of their “Intel Inside” campaign. Of course, this is just a logo. Even if someone didn’t recognize it, there is bound to be some text next to it, and once they know what it is they should remember it.

    I do like the fact that it’s simple and creative. I’m a bit concerned how long it will last, though, considering how often Microsoft changes their logos (even if in minor ways) and rebrands things.

  8. @The Evangelist, this is a new brand.. whats to remember? the windows logo isn’t a good logo to use for a microsoft store, if anything you’d have the Microsoft logo, but theres no reason they need to, and if anything would probably damage its potential.. people would be expecting spreadsheet central.

    The ms online store will likely be rebranded to this theme when the stores launch.

  9. I like it.

    It reminds me of something from a Scandinavian designer. And judging from the large amount of wood and solid colors from the store concept, I’m betting that the designer is from there.

  10. @Stephen: What’s to remember? Sure, this is a new brand, but there is something to be said for brand recognition. As far as the second part, I do believe you are right, the online store’s current logo (http://store.microsoft.com/home.aspx) is a bit too gray and “professional.” Also, the products featured on the homepage are typically more business-oriented.

    All of that aside, perhaps you’re right, people will begin to recognize it as a separate brand. Apple has been quite successful with their stores; perhaps Microsoft could be as well. It gives Microsoft a chance to have a connection directly with its customers, as where nearly everything went through independent stores and the OEMs before. It would also give Microsoft a chance to demonstrate how some of their products work together (and show the average joe computer user things that (s)he never knew could be done before).

    Also, with all of the criticism Vista has had, brick-and-mortar stores would be a great opportunity for Microsoft to showcase Windows 7 and all it can do.

  11. If you take a look at the Windows logo and Office logo (Microsoft’s bread and butter) you can see this as being a sort of hybrid of the two. There is more to the Microsoft Store than Windows so they “ironed” out the flag. Office contributes the “boxes” loosely representing the many components of the Office Suite. They both share the same colors.

    The result is a logo that is quickly recognizable (colors) as SOMETHING Microsoft related.

    To me, it portrays an ecosystem of different, yet interacting components fitting together in harmonious continuity. (the even-stepped tonal variation within each square)

    Hahaha! How’s that for pretentious over-analysis!

    Truth-be-told, a logo will represent different things to different people. If Microsoft wants to step into the consumer’s eye in a big way, they will want to “neutral-ize” their image to shepherd anything they want to shove in our faces.

    I feel this logo does that.

  12. I had completely expected a stylish and pretty version of the Windows flag, and not.. this. A deviation from their well recognized brand – for what reason? Since it’s new and refreshing? Is that more important than reusing what they have built over the past few decades? Or do they feel the Windows logo is tainted with poor reputation? Apple would never do something like this and suddenly on a whim replace the Apple, at least.

  13. It is still a window, it has the same colors, its just a different look then the Windows logo, as this isn’t Windows, its a store by Microsoft, Microsoft of course being most famous for Windows would of course take inspiration from the Windows logo, but not just reuse it.

    This is, if you will, a different brand that needs it’s own identity, just like that of Microsoft Office. For me this logo does that well.

  14. The more I look at this logo, the more it makes my eyes hurt, literally, it’s like some kind of optical illusion.
    I’m not sure if I like it, on one hand it’s good to have something simple, on the other hand it is boring and not really the exciting, glossy and futuristic image you expect to see.

    It’s nice to see a logo from Microsoft though. AFAIK they have never had an image only logo, always the word “Microsoft” or just the “M” (like in the favicon at microsoft.com). I wonder if it will become the general logo for everything Microsoft or just the store and its products?

Leave a Reply