The temptation to write about Microsoft’s brand-new logo is almost unbearable. I’ve been trying to resist but… okay. I can’t resist.

Microsoft has a new logo. It has color squares reminiscent of the four-color blocks we see in Office, SharePoint, Visual Studio and so on, with the word “Microsoft” spelled out in type. The Pac-Man-like bite out of the letter “o” is gone.

You can see the new logo in this blog post from Jeff Hansen, general manager of brand strategy at Microsoft. He writes:

The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names. We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important “brand impressions”. That’s why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.

When I see companies redrawing their logos, I’m reminded of ship stewards rearranging the deck chairs. Don’t they have something better to spend their time on, their money on, than redrawing a well-recognized, 25-year-old logo? Think about the signs that must be remade, documents that must be reprinted, business cards, brand identity handbooks, and so on. The ROI for this is what?

The same was true, by the way, for the last several movies based on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” crew. Why was the Federation constantly redesigning its Starfleet uniforms? But I digress.

Let’s not forget the 2010 logo redesign for Gap, a chain of clothing stores. The social-media outrage about this logo change was so swift that Gap reversed itself a week later. Amazing. You can read the whole sordid story here in Vanity Fair.

The new Microsoft logo isn’t bad. But it’s not great either. Yes, the colors tie the corporate logo to flagship product identities, but other tech companies like Google use similar colors with Chrome and other product lines. The new Microsoft logo seems utterly unnecessary, and the timing isn’t great.

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Read his blog at