Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque.
It then specialized in the development and sale of computer programs for early computers and became subcontractors for IBM fairly quickly.
Microsoft created its Windows operating system in the 1990s, and later had other successes like Internet Explorer, the Office suite, and games like Flight Simulator or the Encarta dictionary.
Microsoft even bought the company behind the popular Minecraft game in 2014!
Its revenue is more than 80 billion per year and the company employs more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Like a lot of companies, Microsoft’s branding has changed with the times, and the logo we all know today has had many different incarnations.
Microsoft’s First-Ever Logo
Microsoft’s two founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were behind the company’s first logo.
The logo was said to have been created from a programming language.
It was made up of the company’s name in a fairly original sans serif font and represents the 70s and the disco years well.
Many concentric lines from the letters create a depth effect on some.
It is also the only Microsoft logo to be on two lines.
The 1980 Redesign: A Rock Star Look
In 1980, Microsoft decided to do the first redesign of its logo.
This new brand image seemed to be directly inspired by the look of the heavy metal bands of this decade and is a very different look from the first logo.
First, the name of the company was now written on one line and not two.
Secondly, Microsoft relied on a much oilier font and on a more aggressive letter drawing with sharp angles–exploiting a lot of diagonals.
The letters M, R, and F also surpass the rest of the logo, which has a strong resemblence to the logo of the legendary band Metallica.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), this logo would only be used for 2 years.
The Arrival of Blibbet
In 1982, the logo was nicknamed the “Blibbet”.
Microsoft was moving away from its rocker side to a much more corporate look.
First, the name of the company was now in a very common sans serif font.
The only thing that made this logo recognizable was the horizontal lines in the letter O which resembled a CD.
The O was also used alone as the company’s symbol logo.
This logo was apparently quite loved by Microsoft employees.
They even made petitions to keep the “Blibbet” during the 1987 redesign.
The Pac Man logo
This was the longest-used Microsoft logo and was created in the late 1980s.
It was nicknamed the “Pac Man” logo.
Microsoft wanted to show the strength and importance of its business in the market.
The Helvetica font was chosen to create the logo.
It is a well-known font and is still widely used today.
Unlike the “Blibbet” logo, there were no special features in the new logo.
It is composed only of the company’s name, except for a space between the O and the S.
This seems to be a nod to when the company was called Micro-soft.
In 2006, Microsoft added a new slogan to its logo.
In 2011, it changed its slogan.
It is important to create a flexible logo that can be used in different contexts.
The Current Logo
A huge overhaul of Microsoft’s logo took place in 2012.
This logo, still used today, is the creation of Microsoft employees after a number of meetings.
The bold and italic side of the previous logo disappeared to be replaced by the Segoe UI font.
However, it is the addition of a colorful symbol that makes it so different from the other logos.
Four squares of different colors form a window obviously reminiscent of Windows–one of the important products of the company.
According to some, the red square represents PowerPoint or the Office suite, the blue square for Word or Windows, the green square for the Xbox or Excel console, and the yellow square for Outlook or Bing.
In short, this logo seems to be here to stay.