Andrew Kim’s speculative redesign of Microsoft permeates all of the company’s current efforts, including Windows, Metro, and Surface. It’s finally picked up steam across the internet much in the same way that Dustin Curtis’s American Airlines redesign did a few years ago — albeit without as much scorn. Andrew decided that “Microsoft needs to be a brand that represents the future.” His design reaches this lofty goal on a cosmetic level (dig the space theme), and exceeds it philosophically.
He also makes excellent advancements on the Windows branding (and current 2012 redesign from Microsoft itself). I’ve long fled the Microsoft boat (since 2003), and nothing has impressed me on a software level from them except the design philosophies of Metro. Metro should have been the phoenix in the Windows ashes, but Microsoft refused to surrender the old metaphor in its branding and logo. Metro (aka Windows Phone OS, Windows 8) could have been that chance. And the recent unveiling of Surface (along with more mainstream coverage of Windows 8) could have been its Mac OS X moment. But they’ve long stuck to their old ways. To name a few:
- Backwards compatability via snapping that looks awfully hilarious
- Nervous to leap into the future by making mobile and desktop OSes the same thing (see: idiotic scroll bars)
- Showing the world Surface three years behind the competition and not letting a single person demo it afterwards
So it’s no surprise that Andrew Kim rebooted the idea of Windows for the future. And then he went and demonstrated to Microsoft how you carry a consistent design and branding through all your key product lines.