More bad news about the Windows 8 logo

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  • NazmusLabs

    I want to express what I believe is going on here.

    From what I understand, the main reason people do not seem to like the new logo is because of its monochromic, flat, design.

    People want to be “whoo’ed” and “aahhh’ed” by a new logo, also known as eye candy. This was the part of the “Wow” pitch of Vista. Remember what Vista tried to market? One of the things Vista tried to market was eye candy. Aero, glass, 3D, whoo, aahh, shadows, gradients, reflections, and whole bunch of stuff. The Windows logo was changed to a glass orb or “pearl as MS internally refers to it. The new vista logo was full of gloss, reflections, glass orbs, shadows, color gradients, and a whole bunch of stuff. Vista UI was all about the “glass” eye candy. Icons reflected this too.

    XP introduced eye candy to Windows in 2001. The Luna theme featured a plastic/rubber like UI. OSX and iOS feature aluminum, metal, and glass in their UI eye candy.

    With, windows 8, however, we have to realize that Microsoft wants to take a different approach. I call it the “be yourself approach”. Microsoft calls it “digitally authentic”. With Metro design language, the digital user interface no longer tries to mimic real-life objects, like wood, plastic, metal, or glass. It tries to be its own thing, hence digitally authentic.

    In the early days, we saw UI that were “digitally authentic”. Back in the day, we would envision red, green, blue colored UI to take over future of computing. Think about the UX in matrix. The UI in the science fiction don’t look like wood or glass, but rather they look futuristic and “digitally authentic”. Recall some of the future vision videos Microsoft and others have made; they all sport a “metro” design language in being digitally authentic. One is at its best when it tries to be itself. Why try to make something look like what it is not?

    Until Windows 8, Windows tried to mimic real life objects. Windows 98 sported 3D plastic effect, XP, vista, and 7 sported UI mimicking real life objects. Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 moves towards the “digitally authentic”. At /Build//, in one of the demos, a speaker said that just because metro apps have the flat UI, doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. I tend to agree. Look at the weather or mail app in Windows 8. Very few other OS sport that kind of UI. iOS calendar app, for example, feature leather, which, I think, looks elegant but not “digitally authentic”.

    If you think about it, even Google is making their UI digitally authentic. Google calendar looks surprisingly like a metro app, and so does Gmail. Is that a coincidence? No, it is not. UI designers are finally realizing that UI doesn’t have to have material eye candy to be beautiful.

    The Windows 8 logo reflects just that. As Microsoft noted in their post about the logo, the logo is “digitally authentic”. The logo is not made of glass like it is on Vista, but, rather, it is its own thing. The logo is si-fi like and, quite frankly, I like it.

    So, before you decide to criticize the logo, ask yourself if it is because the logo is missing the eye candy. If the lack of eye candy is the reason, the statements above is something for you to ponder.

  • IanHead

    I have no problem with minimalism and understand the thought process behind the new logo, what it represents &c &c – but at the end of the day I still think it’s shamefully ugly – that gaudy shade of pastel blue it comes in, the fatness of the font, the skewed perspective – all of it is horrible. 

    http://www.redmondpie.com/this-mockup-brings-metro-to-the-legacy-desktop-in-windows-8-images/

    Take a look at the logo here – a much, much nicer logo to look at while conveying the exact same message (and while I’m at it, those mockups present a style for the desktop that is incredibly pretty to look at – right now, the ‘squared off Aero’ look in Windows 8’s Dev/Consumer previews is almost offensive in just how awful it looks).

    • NazmusLabs

      I am very sure that we will see the desktop UI taking Metro design concepts like the mock-up screenshots. However, we will have to wait for the next version. Windows 8 is focused on making the new WinRT platform smooth and free of bugs. Because metro is the part of windows that is started from scratch, it needed a lot of work to run faster and take less resources than does Windows 7. The last thing MS needs is for Metro to suffer the same lag, bloat, and hardware demand that Windows Vista suffered.

      Furthermore, Microsoft doesn’t want to risk breaking “Windows 7” with this huge release. Drastically changing the desktop would need lots of work and would take away the man power needed to polish Metro. Furthermore, drastically changing the desktop could cause compatibility issues, and eliminate what people loved about Windows 7.
      With the next version of Windows, like Windows “9”, Microsoft will have much more time and resources to go back to the desktop and redesign the UI. They will have much more time to make the transition from desktop to metro less jarring. They will have more time to ensure that the change in desktop doesn’t harm compatibility.

      The desktop didn’t take one day to develop. It took over 20 years. So, yes, Windows 8 will have a contrasting desktop UI, but it will get better with future versions.

  • Timiteh

    Well, the logo does have the same problem as the Metro U.I of Windows 8: It is flat and lacks of eye candy. By contrast the Xbox U.I is way prettier.
    This is almost understandable on a tablet which must have a power efficient, fast, light and minimalist U.I, but it is disturbing to say the least for a P.C U.I.
    This bring us back to the need of 2 different Windows U.I one for tablet/convertible and the other for desktops/laptops.Laptops and desktops have nowadays enough horse power to handle sophisticated, pretty U.I.So i can’t understand why PC users should be given such a flat/ugly U.I because Microsoft want to provide the exactly same U.I from extremly low end devices (ARM based devices) to high end workstations. Especially as this U.I doesn’t scale well to even mid end devices.i think that Microsoft should have provided at least 3 levels of U.I:
    * Touch U.I, very similar to the current Windows 8 U.I, by default on tablets but optional on other touch enabled devices like HP Touch Smart
    * P.C U.I would like a significantly evolved version of Windows 7 with some Metro elements but prettier and more in tune with AERO, by default on desktop/laptops but optional on X86 based tablets, though can be activated if the tablets is plugued in a dock and connected to a mouse and a keyboard.
    * Futuristic U.I, an advanced, very pretty U.I taking advantage of higher end hardware and of kinect, optional on all devices powerful enough but by default on a true next gen PC designed to take advantage of it. This U.I could have been used in the next gen XBox.
    With such an approach people would be able to choose the U.I which fit them best and there would be way less griping.Microsoft should understand that it is not apple and it will never be. It chooses to adress a very large, thus less wealthy and especially less submissive, customer base for whom a one fit all approach won’t work.By using such an approach they will push a significant share of their customers to either stick to Windows 7 or to move somewhere else. If i wanted to be fed a one fit all solution, i would already be using Apple products.