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You have three big tech companies all on the mobile battleground map. Like any war-based strategy game like Starcraft or Command & Conquer you have the ability to see which sides do what. Because of the media, the Internet, and press events we see Apple, Google, and Microsoft in this mobile landscape.
What’s great is they each offer different styles. Apple with skeuomorphic, Google with hybrid, and Microsoft with purely digital. It has yet to be proven if there can be three styles on the same map comfortably playing.
There are three distinct mobile user interfaces that challenge one another all being decided upon by the end user. Any UI adjustments made create even a greater challenge. This is the case for market leader, Apple.
Andrew Kim set out to rebrand Microsoft as a company of the future in just 3 days. This was an experiment called “The Next Microsoft”. He came up with a new font for “microsoft” as well as an icon called “slate”.
In Kim’s experiment he does leave out the application for Xbox, Microsoft’s entertainment empire, which with the slate design would fit perfect in creating the “X”. We are in favor of the slate as it creates this icon for Microsoft that can be applied across their various products. The Windows icon is more recognizable than Microsoft’s “M” in a square. With the slate, Microsoft would be branded across on products in a clever, but logical way.
Here are the highlights of this experiment:
I decided that Microsoft needs to be a brand that represents the future. Be slightly aggressive unlike Apple and Google’s friendly marketing. Promise to deliver the future today. Be almost science fiction.
The Windows brand is legendary but does not represent a progressive image. It feels outdated and has connotations that aren’t helping Windows Phone and Surface.
The new logo for 2012 (perspective four paneled window) is radical but does not shed the past. The window in perspective is also visually uncomfortable when applied on products.
Microsoft is showing a progressive vision that was missing in the company for years. This is however tainted by a branding effort that simply does not inspire people.
The next Microsoft is build around a belief and passion for the future. Innovation and progress is engraved into the culture and expressed to the public in a bold and mysterious fashion.
Microsoft turns the corner with a redesigned homepage. It’s doesn’t seem to be live yet, but can be found through a preview URL.
Their current design has a corporate feeling and most likely hasn’t seen a redesign in a few years. With the elimination of .aspx and the introduction of the Metro UI for Windows, Microsoft is getting bold with their design.
Microsoft is being creative and different with their Internet Explorer 9 advertising. We showed you earlier how they’ve implemented their advertising on The Verge with the “less browser. more verge.” slogan.
At The Next Web they’ve created a dedicated page that if you were using IE9 to view the site would see 24 hours prior to others (that’s what they say). Across The Next Web they organize their content by various “channels” and this one is called “Microsoft IE9”.
In the tech publication space, Microsoft is certainly working with sites like The Next Web and The Verge to create an advertising experience that is beneficially useful and great. Designing ads can be much more than displaying images and text in a dedicated location.
A Whole Foods shopping cart powered by Microsoft’s Kinect in the works.
Microsoft says more than 300 companies are working on commercial applications for Kinect on Windows.
Windows Desktop UI Concept by Phyek