The new look has a straightforward typography treatment, paired with a modified Windows four-square of primary colors. It's intended to "signal the heritage but also signal the future," Jeff Hansen, Microsoft's general manager of brand strategy, told the Seattle Times.
The new products being rolled out also have a cleaner, less cluttered look and feel, including Windows, Office and its Phone.
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The previous bold, italicized logo was introduced in 1987. The newest version is the first time the company's used a symbol in its logo.
The purpose of a corporate logo is to do just what Hansen said above: communicate a corporate's value and brand in a unique, impactful visual way. It should also be able to hold up over time. The previous lifespan of Microsoft's logo proves that.