Microsoft started as Traf-O-Data in 1972 as a traffic computer manufacturer for traffic lights for the Washington roads, the company was working for the government at the time and later moved to Microsoft on April 4, 1975.
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Microsoft launched its most well-known logo in early 1987, and since then, has been cherished by many. It's still used on older products and some portals (most notably the Windows/Microsoft Update website and Boot Screen in Windows XP, the Microsoft Update site in Windows Vista, the documentation page for Windows XP Professional, the Xbox 360, the vast majority of Microsoft Game Studios (now Xbox Game Studios) games released before 2011, and some others, just to name a few). Up until 2012, multiple variations of this logo was on Microsoft's Website and was used on the website even after the 2011 Microsoft logo went to effect. It was designed by Scott Baker.
“The new logo, in Helvetica italic typeface, has a slash between the o and s to emphasize the "soft" part of the name and convey motion and speed.”
— Scott Baker, designer of the 1987 Microsoft logo.
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With the launch of a new slogan in 2011, the Microsoft logo was altered slightly, reducing the slant. This logo was the shortest-lived of the company, only being used for one year until August 22, 2012. This logo was never used on Microsoft's website, having the previous logo until a completely different logo replaced it temporarily.
August 23, 2012
Microsoft launched its new logo on August 23, 2012, which includes four squares with the colors of Office, Xbox, Windows and Bing. This happened around the time Windows 8 launched, which changed its usual colors to a single blue (so the old Windows colors were brought to the Microsoft logo). This logo was also used on their website. Although this logo cannot be completely current, a similar one has featured in Windows 95 commercials from the mid-'90s, as well as the now-defunct Microsoft Store's logo from 2009.
Notes: 1 Developed by 4J Studios. 2 Developed by Mojang Studios. 3 Developed by Oracle. 4 Developed by SkyBox Labs. 5 Developed by Telltale Games. 6 Developed by Xbox Game Studios. 7 Developed by NetEase Games. 8 Collaboration with Gamepedia. 9YouTube-affiliated. 10 Collaboration with Lego.