In a video posted yesterday on The Window Blog, an unexpected refresh of the Microsoft's Hotmail logo has been outed. The new logo will sport a very Outlook-esque golden envelope and a full "Windows Live Hotmail" title.
The logo change will likely come as part of the Windows Live "Wave 4" refresh. As of now, Hotmail relies on the Windows Live logo with the word "Hotmail" hanging around in plain text. The change, as Long Zheng points out, "puts more emphasis on Hotmail (and less on Windows Live)." It seems as though Microsoft wants to, somewhat, separate Hotmail from the shackles of Windows Live and, once again, brand it as its own, pure, entity.
So why the re-branding? With Google's Gmail service growing bigger by the day, and Yahoo mail standing strong, Microsoft may feel the need to keep their webmail titan in top shape. A logo refresh is always a good start, as it gives the public a new perspective of the service. The logo definitely fits well with the golden theme used by Office 2010. Perhaps Microsoft has some Hotmail/Office integrations planned. Anything's possible.