Dear internets: this is NOT the Microsoft logo

You know what really grinds my gears, people who screw up the Microsoft logo. No I don’t work for Microsoft’s legal department, in fact I despise lawyers, but it’s beyond comprehension how some people think the Microsoft logo is the one on the right.

Not surprisingly it’s not even the proper Windows flag. The sequence of colors is right, but the shape and bevel is all wrong. One is for a product, another is for a company. It’s not that confusing.

Like me, you’ve probably seen it lingering around the net. I’m not sure where it began but the first time I saw it must have been at least 2 years ago and has been plaguing the web since. As an indication of its popularity, it’s one of the top image results on both Google and Bing for “Microsoft logo”.

What’s worrying is that this doesn’t seem to be just a novice mistake. The list of notable offenders include but is not limited to prestigious publications to the like of the Wall Street Journal, to generic technology news sites, and even companies started by former Microsoft employees.

As I know there are many others out there I’ve previously witnessed with my own eyes, please leave a comment if you ever come across one. It must be stopped.

23 insightful thoughts

  1. This grinds my gears too!

    Fudzilla is one of the offenders, I’ve even mailed them about it. No reply unfortunately…
    You rally people up and I’ll find pitchforks. :p

  2. Microsoft needs a new website in a new style, and every subsite should have the same style. Unless they do that I dont have respect for their logos, themes or styles.

    1. you seem to be more obsssed with looks than functionality. itis not a question of how their whole sites lool but how the logo has been and willbe misprinted/misused over years. come back and comment when you reach adulthood, or are you already one? then try when you are 70,80 or dead for all i care

  3. @Martijn: Really? Every product should have the same fonts, styles, etc.??? No major company does that. Coke? Nope. GM? Nope. Ford? Nope. Toyota? Nope. 3M? Nope. Brand and product matter.

  4. They are probabily the same people that think a blue “e” is the logo of the Internet.

  5. Nothing grinds -my- gear more than people who complain about the wrong kerning on a font or people who complain about people using the wrong corporate logo. Life is just like that I guess.

  6. Many companies have standards guidelines for use of their logos and trademarks.

    I used to work for GE, and it used to be That the logo had an underline that extended precisely 2″ on paper before reaching the business unit name which was required to be GE Business Name in italics, but only the GE could be underlined. The font used was Helvetica or Arial, and anything else was incorrect. I’m not sure if they’re still as precise, but I’d guess they are. They had a whole “styles” website devoted to getting it right– on-screen and on-print.

    That said, people often get it wrong. Not only does the press get these things wrong, but in the case of the Microsoft logo, I imagine that a lot of it comes from malware using familiar images and text to fool people.

  7. Long, I could not agree with you more. Every time I see that mutated “logo,” a nibblet of my soul rots. The rotated flag seems to remind me of a swastika, which makes me wonder if that was the original intention of the first idiot who spread this on the web. But it is even more disgusting when textbooks (trying to find the college textbook that I saw it in) and news sources run a simple image search to use something that features no immediate resemblance to a “logo” Microsoft has used to represent itself. It comforts me, Long, to see that there are others who notice these kinds of things…

  8. To the oblivious or unaware, this is “much ado about nothing”. But the problem is, this is indicative of a laziness that readily permeates online journalism – something that would have been much less ominpresent in a more responsible past world of journalism.

    Basically, some jackass took the original logo, thought it either wasn’t snazzy enough or didn’t have the same “pop” as the Apple logo, and took it upon themselves to augment it. After 1000 bloggers copied the logo because “it was pretty”, it becomes impossible to not see on an image search. Then some larger muckraking online publication steals the graphic (The Register comes to mind) and you get to where we are today.

    This is sort of “munging” of images is similar to urban legend emails that get forwarded – and worse, augmented & appended to – by grandmothers & lazy dayworkers. Emails stupidly modified to make them purported more convincing that, over time, become more legend than fact – if it was ever fact at all.

    At the the very least: This image is VERY COMMON. And it’s being used by supposedly highly credible publications. I’m glad that someone finally decided to say something abiout it.

  9. Perhaps it’s not just laziness on the part of journalists, but a perceived lack of vision and direction by Microsoft itself.

    They’ve come out with some amazing products in the last few years which I think have been hurt by a lack of collective vision in their branding. Disastrous names such as “Games For Windows Live” and “Windows Phone 7 Series” as well as some products being preceded by “Live” and others followed by it such as “Live Mesh” and “Windows Phone Live.” Also, the downright ugly ui phase they went through with Live Wave 3 and 4 as well as Vista. They’ve even had some luck creating new and recognizable brands: Xbox, Bing and Zune to name a few, but then they killed that last one and bailed on names for Windows in favor of made up version numbers.

    Without the diatribe, I would’ve glanced at that logo and thought of XP. A product that the company is still best known for.

  10. I think some website owners use such images to prevent violation of copyright. One can not use Microsoft logo without permission Anyways thanks for throwing light on this issue

  11. This is very Microsoft. All they do is copy other innovation. So why would they deserve a ‘proper’ logo? 😀

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