With Windows 8, Microsoft will dump the familiar multicolored flag logos that have adorned Windows for the last two decades in favor of something much ... blockier.
The new Windows 8 logo isn't a flag, it's a block made up of four squares that is either jutting out or sliding away, depending on how you look at it.
There is no curve, no wave, no flex, just flat, hard lines.
Love it or hate it, this is the new Windows logo and it decidedly invokes the "metro" user interface found in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7, which is made up of square and rectangular "live tiles" for apps for use with touchscreens on phones and tablets.
In the process, Microsoft is giving up a logo that is automatically recognizable to millions of consumers worldwide -- a move not too often taken by other companies with such massive brand recognition.
"The Windows logo is a strong and widely recognized mark but when we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles and we also felt there was an opportunity to reconnect with some of the powerful characteristics of previous incarnations," said Sam Moreau, a user experience director on Microsoft's Windows 8 team, in a company blog post.
The new logo, Moreau said, is a throwback of sorts to the first two logos of Windows, which looked not like a waving flag but rather two color windows, as you might find in a home or office.
"'Windows' really is a beautiful metaphor for computing and with the new logo we wanted to celebrate the idea of a window, in perspective," he said. "Microsoft and Windows are all about putting technology in people's hands to empower them to find their own perspectives. And that is what the new logo was meant to be.
"We did less of a redesign and more to return it to its original meaning and bringing Windows back to its roots -- reimagining the Windows logo as just that -- a window."
Microsoft hasn't yet shown off the new logo in Windows 8 itself, but that could happen soon and possibly at the company's Mobile World Congress event for developers on Feb. 29 in Barcelona.
So, what do you think of the new logo? Is this radical change a good move or blasphemy?
Would this be akin to turning the Nike Swoosh upside down or Apple going back to Isaac Newton sitting under a tree? Or is this more of an evolutionary move similar to the stylistic changes Coca-Cola and Pepsi have rolled out over the years?
Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.