As an army of programmers and testers hammer away on Windows 7 in one part of Microsoft’s sprawling Redmond HQ a smaller team of designers and graphic artists are already in high gear for the impending Windows 7 marketing assault.
It’s a salvo that will begin before the new OS launches around October and continue in varying degrees and forms until Windows 8 arrives some three years hence.
First up is a new brand identify for Windows 7 which reaches beyond the jewel-like Windows logo itself. This appears to have been finalised as a stylished chevron with the now-mandatory lens flare effect.
The logo was first sighted on Windows 7 retail box shots leaked at the start of this week by Polish Web site Centrum XP. While initially suspected as being fan-created fakes some detective work by Aussie blogger Long Zheng uncovered an invitation-only ‘Windows Lounge‘ Facebook group restricted to Microsoft employees.
This is described as being a â€œVIP Lounge reserved for the Microsoft communityâ€ and featuring â€œthe lighter side of Windows 7â€. A Microsoft email address is required to join. Artwork on the Facebook group’s landing page however contains the same ‘7’ logo as the artwork on those box shots.
So are the box shots themselves the real deal? Even if they’re legitimate which we tend to think is the case they’re still mock-ups bereft of mundane detail rather than the final retail packaging.
As expected they play off the same colour key as Windows Vista â€“ green for Home Premium blue for Professional and black for Ultimate.
New to the mix are the equivalent ‘upgrade pass’ boxes for stepping up from one edition of Windows 7 to another. These imply that the upgrade process itself which Microsoft is expected to push quite assiduously will be run under a ‘Get more now’ marketing mantra.
Take a look at the lot for yourself and then let us know what you think about them…