Delicious new Windows Live Wave 3 icons

Yes, the rumors are true, I have a fetish for icons. Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Steve Clayton teased us with a small thumbnail of the new Windows Live Wave 3 product icons and since then I’ve made it a quest of mine to showcase them in their original high-resolution glory. With the help of Windows Live community manager Marcus Schmidt, my quest is complete and my icon hunting skill points have doubled. Here they are for your visual indulgence.

Windows Live Wave 3 icons

My favorite would have to be the simplistic yet iconic (pun) Live Photo Gallery icon, and least favorite the Live Spaces icon which is overly complex.

88 insightful thoughts

  1. Great stuff Long! I’m glad they changed the Photo Gallery icon as it was the most ugliest I had seen! It looks more like a file icon than an application icon. Any idea when we will get our hands on these new updated Wave 3 apps and services??

  2. Great stuff! But how come Groups doesn’t get a gold streak?

    Too bad chances are we’ll almost never get to see the icons at full res like this in practice…

  3. @ Imran Hussain,

    Amen to that! That’s what I always thought.

    Don’t like the new Skydrive and Writer icons. New Calendar one looks great.

  4. I find Groups and especially Peoples’ icon to be somewhat cold and intimidative. Peoples’ reminds me of scene where shilouette of aliens came down from UFO with strong backlight. But maybe I’m just too imaginative.

    The envelopes in Mail looks like Vista Mail’s icon now.

    Likes the calendar and event, looks bright and light. But perhaps because of the blue tone, they also felt… icy.

  5. Very nice work, they look much nicer too in there smaller form compared to the originals.

    Fingers crossed they let loose the same icon designers on all of Windows 7 icons as well.

  6. IMO the Groups, Contacts, and Messenger icons are rather similar. The Spaces logo, the worst, doesn’t include the bright warm flower nor a gold streak consistent with the others.

    Perhaps Photo Gallery’s gold streak could reach into the middle of the flower?

    But hey, they are still a brilliant redesign.

  7. WOW. The icons are awsome. I get to feel the wave in all the icons. I like all of them except the Windows Live People Icons its bit odd to me.It should have different colour of people as in Windows Live Groups.

  8. @LabRat, yes they are the new icons, however if you download them they might not have the same icons
    @sw, I noticed the flowers too. I guess flowers + weird looking people + gold streak = Windows Live! I guess all the icons should have a gold streak!

    Btw, the Spaces icon gold streak is made of paint, hence the 3d and goey-ness…

  9. I love these new semi-transparent yellow waves – it really looks awesome. But I still hate these annoying flowers… Hope they won’t be in the next Windows 7-oriented live wave.

  10. So the perspective of these icons still looks into the wrong Vista direction. Hope this will change for 7 because I am sitting in front of my PC and not left beside it…

  11. Wow those are truly really great improvements over the previous windows live icons!
    I wonder if they’re ever going to change the look of IE’s icon?

  12. lovely work Long – sorry I didn’t manage to get you the PNG’s but looks like you got it sorted.

    MJ – not just you who uses Writer. I think it’s one of the best pieces of s/w we have released in many years. Elegant, and functional. I love the new icon though 🙂

  13. As far as the icons go, most are improvements (except for maybe People/Contacts).

    But have you guys visited the Windows Live Wave 3 web site that Long links above? (

    I have to say that whoever is doing Microsoft’s ad campaigns now is doing a terrific job. Check out the videos in the “Windows Live in Action” section. Snazzy!

    Has anyone tried Windows Live much? I gave it a go a long time ago (mainly for pictures), but didn’t like it too much at the time. Now I use Picasa to share my pictures — but this requires having that as a separate desktop app to link over to the web albums. Does Windows Live Photo Gallery sync directly with Vista’s photo gallery? And does it allow you to order prints from various suppliers (e.g., Snapfish) the way Picasa does?

  14. I think the new Spaces icon is nice. And I liked the old Windows Live Writer icon. >.> I loved the whole book and pen motif; it was one of my favorite icons.

    But yes! I can’t say I like Microsoft as a company very much, but Windows Live Writer is my favorite product of theirs. I used it a lot when I was on Windows XP.

  15. Alessandro — The online Windows Live Photo Gallery syncs with the Windows Live desktop app by the same name, I believe, which is an improved version of Vista’s gallery. It also lets you upload to Flickr, and I think (but I’m not sure) that it lets you order prints. (Didn’t Windows Explorer let you do that as well?)

  16. nice, but I hope they’ll bundle them with windows 7, at least for the basic ones like photo gallery and messenger

  17. Live Writer’s new icon is slightly worse, rest all are good. But I’m concerned about MS removing all the icons from within the apps and buttons!!! Why remove those?

  18. Those are nice-looking icons. My favorites are WLMail, WLCal, WL Photo Gallery. My least favorite icons are WLSpaces, which I don’t see how it describes that service (Spaces is a service not Software, right? (Software+Service)). I also don’t like WL SkyDrive.

    I hope IE8 can pickup the favicons from SkyDrive and Calendar ’cause right now only the latter’s is was picked up when I added both to IE8’s Favorites Bar.

    Good stuff Long!

  19. I like these new icons, but the messenger one looks kinda like the little men are going to beat me up :S

  20. The new Mail and Photo Gallery icons are my favorites. Don’t really care for the Spaces and Events icons though.

  21. They do look very nice, though the WL Groups icon is lacking the glowing gold streak, and the silver guy present in this icon doesn’t seem to show up in the WL People icon which would make sense… On the whole they’re awesome though!

  22. Interesting how opinions vary.

    Personally, I dislike most of the new icons. I think the yellow ribbon/streamer is quite extraneous and serves little purpose. The orange flower in some of the icons makes Windows Live feel all girly and bubbly. Also, the lack of inconsistency with both the yellow ribbon/streamer and the orange flower is kinda nuts. Instead, they should just drop a Windows Live logo somehow in each icon (like Apple does on their products, or Microsoft usually does with Windows-related products).

    I just think the new icons are more bubbly and superficial, rather than reinforcing Windows Live as a brand and having icons actually represent their service/product in an intuitive way.

  23. Stunningly, breath-takingly, beautiful.

    My favorite would have to be Photo Gallery as well, mainly because it was such a much-needed re-design. I absolutely despised having the old Photo Gallery icon on my Desktop; now I won’t.

  24. @Quikboy,

    I’m not super-fond of the ribbon, personally, but I do see its utility… It helps to identify this group of icons as belonging to the Windows Live brand (as opposed to other calendar, photo album, or addressbook programs)..

    In some cases, the ribbon looks rather nice (e.g., Live Events, Live Writer). In other cases, it should be revised (e.g., Live People / Contacts — although I think that entire icon should be revised… the original Rolodex-card-like icon was better). The ribbon should be added to the icons that don’t have it (e.g., Live Groups).

  25. Hmm I wonder why they decided to make them all facing to the left… they kinda “look away” from the user. Seems like a strange new trend at MS :-/

  26. I like (most of) them.

    just one question, Long; do youknow what the small icons (taskbar size) will look like? presumably they cant be the above ones, shrunk down, can they?

  27. I agree with everyone else that these icons are great–and you’re sluething skills have leveled up (sorry—too much Oblivion over the weekend)

    How can we get these as Png’s or Ico’s-?

  28. Green messenger guy needs some love. Those lousy people in the Live team kicked him out of the main window and replaced him with little boxes. Now he’s getting pushed into the background in the icons. Not to mention his weight, look at how much he has lost since we last saw him! That can’t be healthy. 🙁

  29. Live Calander – new slighty better
    Live Events OLD MUCH BETTER.. new one looks stupid and looks like fuck all to do events and a calender planning

    Live Groups – New is better, definetely, but then old was incredibly bad.
    Live Mail – New looks like some old granny noob shit.. old bettter!!
    Live Messenger – hmm Old looks crystal and iconic.. new looks too fluffly squishy… yellow ruins it though:p
    Live Movie Maker- OLD is much better.!. new looks poor, + it has that stupid yellow ribbon again
    Live People – hmm both have good/bad points.. although the new one lacks id contact card symbolism.. kinda stupid
    live Sky Drive – New one looks like shit.. fucking stupid yellow ribbon again.. OLD IS MUCH BETTER.. and yes it has windows logo.. what they think by not including the windows logo people might trust it more? lol

    Live Spaces – I’d prefere the NEW one much more if it wasn’t for that stupid yellow+paint brush, the old one is pointless as Live spaces has never been about group hugs 😛

    Live Writer -.. well the notebook pad in the old one just abit out of touch.. course then a fucking pen doesn’t exactly symbolise what you’re most likely going to be doing in that app.. and thats typing with a fucking keyboard does it!!! stupid yellow pen ribbon again

    seriosly the yellow ribbon = meaningless to me ..and most cases ruins the icon… now if could just be bothered to waste my time trying any of those apps or sites again( just soo much noob design and poor functionality has put me off before tbh).. only Live Messenger and Mail are worthy of install.. the rest are useless to me.. course Live Mail would be pretty useless ( it too is badly designed has poor features and customization) if it weren’t for the fact that the Outlook Connector for Office Outllok is sooo temperamentally SHIT , if only it could just work 100% of the time.. at least Live Mail does what its meant bloody do and collect mail from Live/Hotmail.

  30. @K00Z00G0L:
    There are always people who are unhappy with change, and there is no need to swear every third word. The yellow ribbon is fine, theres nothing wrong with it, I think its just to symbolize Windows Web Applications (i.e Internet Explorer anyone). Change is sometimes good, sometimes bad. There is nothing we can do about it, so its time to get over it. I am only 16 (no idea how old you are) and I can understand that, there is so much out of my control I have just learnt to just take it.

  31. Lab-Rat .. I couldn’t give a shit about the icons.. I way more interested in the functionality and design of the actual applications.. which having upgraded Live Mail and Messenger yesterday …I can safely say is still shit and getting worse.. ohwell no change there

  32. Well if you think its getting worse why not just stay with the old one, better yet, switch to a different service. Instead of saying “This is shit, wahhhhhhhh” why not actully say why it is shit? Better yet, use the feedback service in most of the Live Services and tell them how they can make it better.

    And you say you don’t give a “shit” about the icons…why then did you winge about it for more then half a comment up there?

  33. Hey, Long – any chance you can make a “Windows Live” taskforce? I think that would be awesome.

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