“Be What's Next”, Microsoft's new motto

Today at the annual Microsoft Global Exchange (MGX) in Atlanta, a showcase event for the company’s own employees and a few select people from outside of the company, Microsoft touted its new motto. Be What’s Next. This new motto was rumoured last month.

The new tag line was first officially shown in a video which also emphasises how flexibility exists between the various brands from Microsoft. Some assumed that the ribbon icons within the video indicated that Microsoft was about to announce a brand new set of logos for its products. Engadget have confirmed with Microsoft that this is not correct; the ribbon icons were only used as a one off for the video only and will not be used as product logos.

Engadget have a copy of the video and pictures of each of the product icons.

Be What's Next

These new icons got people interested in a company wide rebranding by Microsoft with Long Zheng posting a picture of another possible rebranding of Microsoft’s products he discovered in a video last week.

Unofficial Microsoft rebranding

There is no indication that Microsoft will actually use these new logos or rebranding but it is interesting to note that Microsoft appears to have contacted several companies looking for new ideas for its branding.

There had been no rumours of a rebranding effort from Microsoft before the MGX event and it seems that Microsoft is only unveiling a new motto and nothing more. “Be What’s Next” appears to have been well received by the Microsoft community with some seeing this as a greater focus on consumers and an affirmation by the company that they will offer the next major products. The ribbon icons in the first video were not liked on the whole, so just as well Microsoft aren’t planning to use them, however the logos and rebranding in the second video have been widely liked.

Many people liked Microsoft's old motto of “Your Potential, Our Passion” but it had more of a business sound to it than the consumer oriented “Be What’s Next”. Obviously it still remains to be seen if this new motto assists Microsoft in the various markets it competes in or gives the company a new direction and drive.

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Catchy, but I dont think it's gonna do much to Apple. Well lets just see what Microsoft has up there sleeves.

The concepts shown in the above article look nice, but I fear this is just simply because there share price dropped well below Apple's, and as Apple focus on heavy marketing, Microsoft are going to do the same.

I really like the logo, just like Welcome to the Social - Zune. Be whats next is catching and appealing. Logos look weird but interesting transitions.

I like the second set of logos, the first set in the video I'm not crazy about. The motto is alright, but it isn't very clear in my opinion...

OK, let's see the products then. Rebranding is only a sign of weakness, to distance themselves from a weakening brand. A company with a strong brand like Apple would never ever abandon its established identity. Or Levi's Jeans, Coca-Cola, or whatever.

If this is however only for the upcoming event, it's not as big news... But I don't think they'd use new logos for a forthcoming event, if they didn't have plans to use them in the future. That'd just be plain stupid and confusing for their users. The least thing you want to do as a big company is to confuse your brand, so I do believe these may be thought as upcoming logotypes.

Northgrove said,
OK, let's see the products then. Rebranding is only a sign of weakness, to distance themselves from a weakening brand. A company with a strong brand like Apple would never ever abandon its established identity. Or Levi's Jeans, Coca-Cola, or whatever.

If this is however only for the upcoming event, it's not as big news... But I don't think they'd use new logos for a forthcoming event, if they didn't have plans to use them in the future. That'd just be plain stupid and confusing for their users. The least thing you want to do as a big company is to confuse your brand, so I do believe these may be thought as upcoming logotypes.

Yes, because Apple didn't rename their company, constantly change their industrial design, and start to call itself a "mobile device company". Indeed, 'Think Different' is still the company's slogan, you can see it in almost every page of their website, most especially http://www.apple.com/about

You guys need to read... MS is not changing their logos to these silly ones. These are just for the event.

I know a friend that was involved in this marketing for this event and it's just the event branding and for transition purposes in the videos.

I love the new motto though... it's simple yet it lives up to Bill Gate's push for innovation and using tech for useful ways that help the world instead of using it for stupid things unecessary things.

I'm guessing they changed their 'Your Potential, Our Passion' because the Purina pet food company started using 'Your Pet, Our Passion' and everyone started buying Windows for their cats.

I don't think they'll ever beat the classic 'Where do you want to go today?' though, that's as relevant now as ever, why did they ever change it?

What does it say about a company that has to constantly rebrand itself? Make a bad product, rebrand it, rinse and repeat. I guess eventually someone will fall for the spin/pr, that is until they actually try the product lol.

I somehow doubt the Windows brand is going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, Microsoft seems to be sticking it on products that have nothing to do with Windows.

Also it's a corporate image thing. The refresh of the design is reflective of the refresh in the design philosophy behind Windows.

LoveThePenguin said,
What does it say about a company that has to constantly rebrand itself? Make a bad product, rebrand it, rinse and repeat. I guess eventually someone will fall for the spin/pr, that is until they actually try the product lol.

i once fell for linux, then realized it's was pointless, much like yourself LOL

Bern@rd said,
Microsoft - Be what's next
Apple - Be what's approved
Linux - Be whatever

I'm sure the Kin was supposed to be: "Be what's next", but the market said: "Be gone", and the rest is history lol.

LoveThePenguin said,

I'm sure the Kin was supposed to be: "Be what's next", but the market said: "Be gone", and the rest is history lol.

Actually Microsoft called it "Be what's 2009" and Verizon called it "Be what's expensive".

I don't like the new logos, I have never liked MS logos and branding, the office blob in Office 2009 is awful, 'Be what's next' makes sense if you can be what's next but if you can't it will be embarrassing.

Don't like the motto, but the icons are cool.
About bloody time they had some nice consistent branding, makes for a much smarter image.

max84 said,
It's a cool tagline, but I also like Sony's "Make.Believe" tagline

yeah that's a wicked idea, clever in at least two ways!

Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap. If microsoft but half as much energy into great and unique products it would be much more successful and well respected company.

Melfster said,
Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap. If microsoft but half as much energy into great and unique products it would be much more successful and well respected company.

Microsoft has some great products that are unmatched by any other company around there, like Office and Visual Studio (and I know this because I use them both, along Open Office and Eclipse). They also have some nice products like Sharepoint, SQL Server and Windows 7. Not to mention their cloud solutions, which are great too.

Eventough they might have a flop here and there and seem to be loosing in the Phone Market, there overall product line is great and in my opinion, their tools provide the best productivity and have the best UIs in the market.

sviola said,

Microsoft has some great products that are unmatched by any other company around there, like Office and Visual Studio (and I know this because I use them both, along Open Office and Eclipse). They also have some nice products like Sharepoint, SQL Server and Windows 7. Not to mention their cloud solutions, which are great too.

Eventough they might have a flop here and there and seem to be loosing in the Phone Market, there overall product line is great and in my opinion, their tools provide the best productivity and have the best UIs in the market.


Cool story bro.

Melfster said,
Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap

whats the marketing department ment to do then?

Melfster said,
Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap. If microsoft but half as much energy into great and unique products it would be much more successful and well respected company.

You do realise that Microsoft is a large organisation and each department does a different thing; the programmers who write Windows do not do the marketing for Microsoft - amazing isn't it?

There is nothing strange about rebranding oneself as a company moves from a fast growing organisation into an established business along the same lines as IBM, HP and so on. Microsoft is maturing in the same way that IBM has matured - and they want their logo and motto to resemble that change.

Melfster said,
Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap. If microsoft but half as much energy into great and unique products it would be much more successful and well respected company.

Because all employees can market and program the products at anytime. /s

rawr_boy81 said,

You do realise that Microsoft is a large organisation and each department does a different thing; the programmers who write Windows do not do the marketing for Microsoft - amazing isn't it?

There is nothing strange about rebranding oneself as a company moves from a fast growing organisation into an established business along the same lines as IBM, HP and so on. Microsoft is maturing in the same way that IBM has matured - and they want their logo and motto to resemble that change.

Problem is people are ingerently stupid. It's so much easier and "fun" for them to simply make single-minded judgement calls about Microsoft because its the "cool" thing to do. Also, there's the mentality that once a company becomes big, it immediately becomes evil.

Melfster said,
Microsoft needs to focus on its products forget all this marketing and logo crap. If microsoft but half as much energy into great and unique products it would be much more successful and well respected company.

You realize that they are a hugeeeee company, right? A few logos and marketing slogans hardly puts a drop into Microsoft's workflow.

I actually really like the new motto and logos. A fresh new step (in the right direction i hope) for all Microsoft services. Did notice there was no windows live logo though.

sayjay09 said,
I actually really like the new motto and logos. A fresh new step (in the right direction i hope) for all Microsoft services. Did notice there was no windows live logo though.
I think Windows Live is covered by both Bing and Windows now.

I didn't even really know the “Your Potential, Our Passion” . It may have been vaguely buried in my head somewhere, but the "Be what's next" is sticky

Firethorne said,

Funny, I like the motto, but don't know about the logos.

Logo is nice and simple not too much colour and other images...

Motto, well..... lately they've been more of a " Be what's yesterdays" than "Be what's next"...

I hope they turn that over...

i think thats a good motto and hopefully microsoft will get fully behind it. They need to be pioneers and to get some new tech out into the market and not simply join others, become trend setters.