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Everyone needs a new look from time to time. After all, you might not know Stefani Germanotta or Norma Baker, but I bet you know Lady Gaga and Marilyn Monroe. The same holds true for companies fighting for eyeballs in a world saturated with imagery.
For reasons large and small, some of today’s familiar logos started life looking quite different – the original Starbucks logo, for example, was brown and advertised tea and spices. Most, however, have been through a gradual evolution. Coca-Cola remains one of the world’s most recognizable brands and Wal-Mart’s evolving design is as impressive as its global retail reach.
Logo design evolution plays a pivotal role in support of brand strategy, whether it’s signaling a change in direction, supporting a new promise, or merely taking a familiar mark and making it more modern, arresting and relevant. There’s always a balancing act between preserving visual equity and moving the design forward.
In Windows, we’ve also had our share of new looks. Below, you’ll find what our iconic Windows logo looked like at the time of each major new release:
Round 4 of the Windows Recession Sweepstakes is now open! To win, leave a comment and let us know which logo you like best. You have until 6:00 am PT tomorrow (July 23) to enter.
Remember to follow me, Brandon, Ben and the Windows Blog on Twitter to find out more and hear about future rounds of the sweepstakes.
Full Terms & Conditions of the sweepstakes are here.
I think I actually preferred the wavy dimension of the Windows XP logo, has more depth :)
I have fond memoriesof the Windows 3.1 vs. OS/2 battles from back in the day, but the Windows 7 logo is my favorite. I like the clean style. @ma7mgte
I like the Vista logo the best, the Windows logo is fairly commonplace which leads me to prefer not having the words telling me what it is (ie. Windows 7). Take the wording out from Windows 7 and that simplicity would be perfect IMHO.
I actually like the Windows Vista logo the best.
@H4WKE on Twitter
I like the Windows XP Logo's wavy dimensions. (BTW, currently the Win 95 and Win Vista logos aren't rendering).
I like the simplicity of the flattened Windows 7 logo.
Honestly? I like the Windows 7 logo the best. There's a natural progression that has happened over the years (tilting in 95, losing the trail and breaking out of the "box" in XP), and Windows 7 still fits with that natural progression, adding the subtle, yet warm glow to the center. Granted, I DO like the Vista "Orb," but something about it just doesn't fit with the steady evolution of the Windows logo.
I like the simplicity of the Windows 7 logo, but as I recall I liked the Vista logo with it's circle around the window. (Right now I'm getting a 404 error for both the Vista and 95 logos, so I can't view them)
I like the Windows 7 logo the best. It is sleek and modern looking, but stays true to the older logos.
Windows XP logo fan here.
I think I liked the XP logo the best, The 95 and 3.1 logos just look like a flag that is tearing apart. @KC7ISD
I have to say XP, because it is the first time the logo looked 3-D. @Mr_Je11yman
I LOVE the Windows 3.1 logo the most. It was my first computer, and it's what got me hooked on computers. Oh, the memories! I like to think of Windows 3.1 as the girl I will always be in love with no matter what, through all the bugs and glitches.
I always thought the XP logo was a bit "heavy". I prefer the new Win7 logo.
Windows 7 logo for sure. The vista logo is semi-apparent in 7 as well. So those are both good. An always evolving logo is good
Forgot my twitter :(
I liked Windows xp the best.... its my favorite too!
My favorite logo has to be Vista's logo. I like the simplicity of it, no words, just the multi-colored wavy window inside a circle.
Windows Vista clean and non intrusive
I Like The Windows 7 Logo
Opps forgot my twitter address @tommmckee
I definitely like the Vista orb. A simple icon accented by little details and lighting. No text. It doesn't need it.
Windows 7 is a good runner up though.
As much as a people disliked the system, I did like the design for the Windows Vista logo. Well, at least it sort of made its way into Windows 7 as the Start button.
I liked the orb from Vista, but the Windows 7 logo is cleaner and much easier to look at it my opinion. It has also worked well from seeing other divisions incorporating it in to their products.
The new Windows 7 logo is clean, simple, and front-facing. It's not "falling" like Win95 or lit from above like XP. While it is similar to the Vista logo, I didn't like Vista because it didn't include the product name which is important for people not familiar with Windows. @DeveloperInfra
It's great that they stick with the same colors. This has become one of the most recognizable logos ever.
I like the Windows Vista logo the best for its simplicity. I'm @alee67 on Twitter.
I never liked the cloud background on Win 95 & I thought the Win XP was a nice change.
So for me my favorites are Win XP & Win 7 -being very similar it design, it is difficult to choose just one, but if I were forced, I think I like XP a little bit better with the red "XP".
I personally like Windows 3.1 the best, although I avoided actually using Win31 (I used Geoworks a lot more). For some reason it still makes me smile and remember the good old days...
theotherbuzzy (at) live.com
The Windows 7 logo is definitely my favorite. Though the Vista one is a close second.
3.1 and 7!I started my PC using on 3.1, and 7 is both the best logo and best of the bunch.
I myself like the Vista logo the best, I like how the Windows symbol stand out off the blue
My favorite is the round Vista logo. It has that unending feel only a circle can bring.
I like the Vista one myself.
It has to be Windows 7, the latest and greatest. Although I think the even newer version shown at MGX looks even better! www.engadget.com/.../new-microsoft-brand-logos-company-tagline-revealed-at-mgx-event
The Windows 7 Logo is very clean looking.I will choose it as my fav! When I see that logo it just gives me goose bumps all over :) Still using Vista , and can not wait till I get to try out Windows 7
Personally I liked the Vista logo. It was simple and distinctive. I personally like logos without words.
give me vista. i'm a sucker for orbs.
Vista Logo fan here - @dkshare
I like the Vista logo the best. It's almost the same as the Start button in W7. Sort of looks like a globe , it's nice.
I kind of like the Vista logo best
My favorite has the be the Vista Orb.
The 3.1 logo is pretty classic but I like where things are now with the win 7 logo.
I agree with keklar... I think the Windows XP logo has the most appeal. The shading and darker colors make it stand out.
I liked the Vista logo most. That stood out from the others since there was no product name in it and the whole logo had that complete and compact feel.
@grajasekar on twitter
I always loved the vista orb. It was inviting .
I will go with the Windows 7 logo.
The Windows 7 Logo is probably my favorite. The one without the text. I don't know why, but it just looks very... professional.
I love Windows 7 logo (and the OS too), Clean & Elegant. The bright circle in middle just adds to it and gives it a very subtle focus.
I like the Vista version -- very clean.
All of those logos are similar and familiar but I guess I have to choose the Windows 7 logo since it is by far the best and most stable operating Microsoft has ever released.
(Sorry for repost I forgot to put my contact info)
I prefer the Vista logo
deiler at hotmail dot com
I really like the Vista logo the best. It's simple and sleek.
I really like the new windows 7 logo
Vista, but only because there are no words with it. But now that I see them next to each other, the windows look identical between Vista and 7...
I'd have to say the Vista logo, I like the way the blue circle frames with classic windows.
I was a fan of the Windows Vista logo. It is clean and catches the eye. The Windows 7 is identical, just without the bubble and specifies the version. I like it because it doesn't specify a version and Microsoft can use it over and over again if they wanted to. It is also identical to the start button within the Operating System itself.
I think the Windows Vista logo is the best. Simple, sexy, and text-free...and everyone world-wide knows exactly what it is.
XP logo is best for me, has all 3 brands (Microsoft, Windows and XP) highlighted and looks nicer than the original 3.1. The Vista logo looks like it should just be on authorized products.
Personally, I liked the Windows 95 logo the most. It seemed to speak to me about soaring into new heights, higher than ever possible before.
The new Windows 7 logo speaks to me of simplicity and cleanliness, so that one is pretty good too.
Someday, I'd like to see a clip animating a transition from one Windows logo to another, in a clean, animated way that shows how Windows focus has changed over the years....
Windows 7, no contest. @Pup5
Even though there's a certain nostalgia to the windows 3.1 logo, i'd have to say my favorite is the windows 7 one. Though I think it might be nice to lose the text altogether. @acampy
I love the Microsoft Windows XP logo. It is bright, and colorful and has a nice debt to it. This logo also defined Windows XP. XP was more colorful and user friendly than previous Windows OSs, and so was this logo.
I like the Windows 7 logo the best because its a cleaner and refreshed windows logo, and has the version right below it unlike Vista.
I like the Vista logo the best.
I'd have to say the windows 7 logo, I mean it looks clean and closer to the original.
I would definitely have to say that I like the Windows XP logo the best. I love Windows XP! It is the greatest OS aside from Windows 7, which is even better.
It has to be the Vista or Windows 7 logos. The Orb because just the window on its own looks a little bare but the Orb on its own with no product name doesn't sit well with me either so basically my favourite is the Windows 7 logo.
I miss the old Windows 95 logo, the slight transparency to the clouds in the background presents the feeling of an actual window.
I actually like the Vista logo. Its more of the times IMO. The 7 logo flows back with XP and should of have a more updated version of the Vista logo. Either way Windows 7 was my idea.
The Windows 7 logo works for me!
Honestly, I like the XP logo the best because it was the first time the logo had some dimension to, i.e. the wave look. I also like the fact that it has the name of the the OS under it. That being the case, Windows 7 is definitely my second most favorite logo because it has the name of the OS under the Microsoft Windows symbol, and the symbol itself has a shadow making it more three dimensional.
i like the Windows 95 logo because the sky background is calming.
I like Windows 7 Logos, because the colour very realistic.
but i like windows XP and Vista too. the Windows XP logos like the wavy flag of Windows, nice :D. the Windows Vista Logos looks great because in the Orb . but the best is Windows 7 :D :D
I think I prefer Vistas text-less logo. Windows has always been the largest most popular operating system and the Vista logo emphasizes that by saying "We don't need to tell you this is Windows, you know just by looking at this icon"
Plus it uses the blue background as if you were looking through a window but not in a drab way like 3.1's off blue or getting too specific like 95's cloud's. Something that gets lost in Windows 7 logo.
So yea Vista. Quite nostalgic as I've used all 5 of these OS's.
I'd have to say that I prefer the Windows 7 logo.
I have a preference for the Windows 7 logo. it speaks nicely about the evolution of Windows over the years, going for a more modern look. Granted, XP and Vista's were good too in showing this at the time when they were the newest OS available, losing the black "trailed box" outline, but it's now 2010. Windows 7's logo speaks "Now".
I like the Windows 7 logo... clean lines
7. It's clean, classy, and classic.
I've always appreciated the progress fo the logo each release, so I'd have to say my favorite is either that for Vista or 7.
I like the Vista logo the best. And for the record, I actually liked Vista too!
I like the Windows Vista Logo. It looks like a green version of Media Center. They should have followed the pattern and had a similar (orange maybe) button for office etc.
I really like the Windows Logo circled like the windows Vista logo shows.
The Vista logo seems so calm and tranquil. I think it is that lack of text in this presentation.
My favorite logo is the Windows Vista one. I like the blue "orb" around the logo.
I definitely prefer the rich, yet subtle detail of the Windows 7 logo. I'm also a sucker for good typography and the wordmark for the Windows 7 logo is clean, fresh, and current.
I like the 3.1 logo for memory sake. I have a unopened boxed copy of 3.1 on display on my shelf in the computer room...
The Windows Vista Logo is the best logo!! @GameGoal
Windows 7 logo. @amitairos
I like the Vista logo the best. I prefer the removal of the text.
Definitely like the round, circular logo best because it looks more modern than the others AND doesn't say "Windows". It doesn't need to say it; people already know what it represents.
I like the Visa logo best.
Thomas.Bezak at live.com
I like the vista logo the best but I think the intro windows 7 animation is awesome!
Personally, I liked the Vista logo better than the others but wasn't in love with that version...
I would say I like the look of the XP. It's simple and no fuss around it. It's not too overwhelming to look at.
The Windows 7 logo is my choice. I kinda love the simplicity of it. At the same time it doesn't look pasty the way the colours do in the Win XP logo (look closely).
Vista's my favorite.
I like the windows 7 logo the best. I say out with old in with the new!
I love the Vista orb the most. Simple and beautiful.