What’s wrong with Microsoft’s new logos?

Poor Microsoft. The company can’t do anything whatsoever without generating criticism. Microsoft has already been reeling from the PR disaster that is Windows 8. A few critics are even crediting the new operating system with hastening the end of desktop personal computers. Now critics are even assaulting the logos that Microsoft has unveiled to identify its programs on Windows 8. Yes, critics are now saying that Microsoft isn’t artistic enough.

A Quora Critic

A user on the Quora information-sharing site a short time ago criticized Microsoft’s newest logos, graphics that represent everything from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Publisher, as being too simple. The images – which are rather stark – look as if they took five minutes to produce, this aspiring art critic wrote. The critic says that this pattern of lazy logos began with the release of Office 2013 and Windows 8.

The argument

To no one’s surprise – at least to anyone who’s ever used Quora – the user’s argument immediately stirred up debate. A lot of fellow site users stood up for Microsoft, declaring that the logos are actually rather striking in their minimalism. And, indeed, when you look at the logos lined up side by side, the effect is a bit striking. Microsoft’s new, simpler icons, immediately tell you what program you can open by clicking on them.

Simple is Better?

The fans of Microsoft’s new logos may be right. The goal of the icons is to let users understand what program will pop up after they click on a specific icon. And the logos communicate this information well. You instantly can recognize which icon will open Microsoft Publisher and which will open Microsoft’s new cloud services. And if a logo does that? Then who cares if it’s simple?


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