The official logo for Microsoft's new mobile phone platform has been given a mini-facelift.
The change comes ahead of a major update to the Windows Phone software itself. The new version, Windows Phone 7.5, or "Mango," is due out in just a couple months. Mango will be a huge shift for the platform, and Microsoft hopes it will be a catalyst to really bring in new smartphone customers as well as existing customers looking for something different.
So the new logo comes as a fairly minor adjustment in the middle of all this, but it's noteworthy because it relates to the biggest area Microsoft needs to hit - marketing, promotions, and product image.
One of the reasons Windows Phone 7 didn't take off as well as it could have was because of poor advertising. Instead of hitting the features that only exist on WP7, like Xbox connectivity, Windows Live integration, and powerful built-in apps, the early Windows Phone commercials talked about the ability to sign into social networks and instant messaging accounts - admittedly uninspiring features.
Another unique aspect of Windows Phone is the "live tiles" on the main menu, which act as miniature widgets updated in real time. In the new logo, the recognizable Windows flag is shown in a flat tile, symbolic of the software interface. The previous logo was a circle, which was more in line with Windows Vista or Windows 7 iconography.
The first Windows Phone-powered device to run Mango out of the box will be a phone from Fujitsu-Toshiba called the IS12T, to be initially released only in Japan. Mango will also most likely power the upcoming Nokia Windows Phone handsets from day one.