New Windows 8 Logo is latest in beta buildup

The new Windows 8 logo is a plain blue rectangle

As we get closer to the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has been releasing a steady drip of information about its next operating system. The latest tidbit? A new logo--sporting the same "Metro" aesthetic as Windows 8 itself.

The new Windows logo is a plain blue rectangle, divided into fourths and angled outward. Gone is the multi-colored, flag-like ripple that has defined the Windows logo since version 3.1.

"'Windows' really is a beautiful metaphor for computing and with the new logo we wanted to celebrate the idea of a window, in perspective," Sam Moreau, Principle Director of User Experience for Windows, wrote in a blog post. "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."

Microsoft is expected to release the Windows 8 Consumer Preview at the end of the month, during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In the meantime, the company has taken to its own blogs to announce new features and describe parts of the OS in detail.

Last week, Microsoft explained how the Windows 8 desktop will work on ARM-based devices. The desktop for ARM-based devices will allow access to the classic file explorer, Internet Explorer 10 and a built-in version of Office 15, but no third-party apps. The company has also explained how apps will save power when running in the background., and in January, Microsoft revealed some changes to the Windows 8 interface, based on feedback from users and developers.

In addition to official information, some leaks have provided a more complete picture of Windows 8. According to several reports, Microsoft will ditch the Start button in Windows 8 in favor of a menu that appears when the user hovers over a part of the screen. There's also talk of Microsoft merging Windows 8 with the next major version of Windows Phone, codenamed Apollo.

Microsoft originally referred to the upcoming launch as a "beta," but is now using the term "Consumer Preview"--perhaps to encourage more users to take a look. Expect the company to reveal many more details at the end of February.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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