Even Microsoft's employee badges have switched from squares to circles

Microsoft is slowly revamping itself in many different ways, including its employee badges. This week, the company started issuing new "Blue badges" for its workers that ditches the old square frame for employee portraits in favor of circles.

The new design was posted by Microsoft's Steve Clayton on his Instagram page. GeekWire reports that the new look was based in part on a design created by Microsoft engineer Ahmet Alp Balkan in his spare time. The back of the badge has a version of the company's new mission statement that was first revealed in June by CEO Satya Nadella.

Windows 10 Mobile

The change is also similar to what Microsoft is doing with the UI of its Music app for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Both apps have ditched the square design to show images of artists and bands in favor of a circle. It will be interesting to see where this new design scheme shows up next in Microsoft products.

Source: GeekWire

163 Comments
  • So now they will replace doors with Windows?
  • No no, it's all circular and anti-tessellation these days doncherknow. It'll be the circular start menu on the circular desktop next swiftly followed by the circular monitor.
    I've used circular monitors before. We are in for a weird time.
  • Maybe they'll re-brand the Microsoft logo from square to circle. I've never seen a circular window though
  • I asume you have never seen playschool in the UK :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHDbcFp1Hq8 Cant find one of the days where its the circle window.. Dammit..
    Nevermind-- its the playbus.. but where does it stop... look for the sign on the lolloypop.
  • Windows on a ship?
  • Sinking ship?
  • Even my 1977 Pinto Cruisin' Wagon had a circlular window. This isn't a picture of mine, but one just like mine was in 1985 when I had it. Pinto Cruisin' Wagon
  • You haven't? They're called portholes.
  • Haven't you watched the planet of the apes? http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TMU-njE_pso/Tj9r5qxawDI/AAAAAAAABKk/VeHmLhbtpM...  
  • Portholes are round. lol
  • http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=circular+windows&FORM=HDRSC2  
  • Yes, we're going back to the Vista Start button!
  • There already is a circular context menu on the "touch-optimized" version of OneNote... you may be on to something!  (Will the OS name change to Portholes?)
  • I think the Circles do look better.  Squares create this abrupt cut off look.  Plus the people app looks so much better with the rolling circles because now you can see the background in your transparent tiles and see your contacts.  I always had contacts as a small tile because couldn't stand how it would ruin my tile background look.
  • Soooo, why don't they make their selfi app take pictures, and render them in a circle... Well, ay least an option... Would be a little hypocritical to the philosophy if they didn't do so....
  • New Logo 1 New Logo 2     I like the top one better. EDIT: Grrr... the images don't show. I guess the links will have to do.    
  • That looks like a pizza.
  • It does! But not a pizza I'd want to eat! LOL I like the other one better.
  • No, but they'll resample Bag End as their new company headquarter.
  • Why can't they fit a round head in a square hole?
  • Why is it so hard to grasp? Circles = people. Squares =things/content. It really isn't that hard.
  • THIS
  • Circles = sparrow eggs, Squares = picture frames
  • Precisely. When in history have circular portraits even been marginally popular? Oh yeah, never.
  • Best reply!
  • It's not totally consistent though, business in your contacts still show up as circles, when I'd expect them to be squares under that logic. I think that actually would be pretty nice come to think of it.
  • Businesses that YOU put into your PEOPLE HUB?
  • We understand that. It doesn't mean one needs to like it. And like others have said, not all contacts are for a single person, in music it makes little sense, it does limit the space available for the picture etc. It's ok to disagree, even with MS. :D
  • I am not saying you have to like it or not. What I am explaining is to all the people that think circles are just randomly going in places. There is a reason behind it regardless of opinions.
  • Pictures = squares. Pictues of people = squares. There's nothing wrong with circles but cropping them from squares just sucks.
  • The circular profile pics will fit well on a circular smart watch when there's an incoming call
  • Lmbo, I like that one
  • Hahaha lmao. I agree with ya
  • Even the Microsoft logo will now have four circles.
  • LOL
  • Well this was an interesting article.....lol The circles are growing on me though.
  • Should add a hamburger up in the top left corner.
  • Lol. A circular hamburger menu, I assume you mean.
  • He means hamburgers. Hamburgers are round :-P
  • Haha. Good catch
  • IHTfH!
  • Now, every ID pics will be circle, even the passport size
  • Oh crap. Looks like we'll be keeping those polka dots on the contact live tile on W10 mobile :'(
  • Sooo darn anoying! :(
  • Anyways that's a cool mission statement though!
  • Must say I'm not a fan of the circles. Profile pics are easier to crop into squares. But lets see, maybe circles will grow on me.
  • Was expecting a rim-like move and push for using their wp devices in place of smart cards.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/rim-to-turn-smartpho...
  • At least with wearable badges you can easily spot if somebody isn't wearing one and pull them up on it if you don't recognise them - Don't let them tailgate you Into the building etc
  • Funny enough has anyone using yahoo noticed their using circles aswell?
  • Almost every company uses circles FOR PEOPLE now.  Only Facebook and Twitter don't, but Facebook does use circles on their Messenger app lol.
  • Yeah as the trend continues people will upload photos that specifically for nicely Into circles. Ever noticed how Facebook seem to keep most mention of "Facebook" away from the "Messenger App"? I don't think the Apps description mentions it...maybe once near the end of the feature list
  • *they're
  • Not *they're
  • I guess we're still not ready to call the Music App by its real new name... Groove Music... Ugh lol
  • That's because Groove Music sucks. Just call it Music or Microsoft Music or Windows Music or Live Music. Seriously Microsoft's branding team sucks sooooo bad! They want people to recognize their brand yet they are not consistent in anyway.
  • I wonder if Hooli will do the same on Silicon Valley? (hilarious geek show)
  • Why would it? They make fun of actual controversies, not some issue fanboys who don't like a design change that other companies have been doing for ages are raging about. This isn't a big deal.
  • "This is Apple Maps bad" lol (Personally I don't mind the circles, but that focus group part was one of my favourites parts of any episode, So funny)
  • I think I'm alone here, but I really hate "empower". Bland, meaningless corporatespeke.
  • You're never alone. Empower is just too widespread a word now that it has lost all meaning. If we are all empowered by everything, we are empowered by nothing.
  • Empower people with synergy!
  • You need to disrupt somewhere along the way too.
  • Really wonder what their obsession with wasted space is all about.....
  • You say "wasted space", I say "clutter-free".....
  • You say "clutter-free", I say "going with the fad"...
  • I think you mean clean. Filling a space just to fill it is pointless. Atleast it looks much better this way. It's not wasted space when it is intentional.
  • I don't know what is the problem about this, they are only photos but some people make so much drama about it like if was going to kill anyone. I like it. and at the same time I don't care about it becasue I usually upload a photo or anything and then never see it so much again. and it seems it looks better on the badges than square pics. rounded badge + squared photo, wouldn't look any better I am sure. the photo should have rounded corners or be a circle to look nice.
  • Exactly.
  • The grey square background behind the circular album artist photos in the music app looks awesome...
  • LOL, Totally! Gives it such a polished, refined look. Like it was designed to be round! /s 
  • At first I hated circles on the Windows Phone ten preview, but I must admit they are slowly growing on me
  • That could be chicken pox, possibly ringworm... You should probably go to the docs...
  • Who wants to be a square?
  • Mr. Strong
  • I do
  • SpongeBob
  • Well, SpongeBob's pants are square, but isn't he more of a rectangle himself? ;)
  • SpongeBob's marketing director. His pants are rectangle too
  • I used to be a renegade, I used to fool around
    But I couldn't take the punishment and had to settle down
    Now I'm playing it real straight, and yes, I cut my hair
    You might think I'm crazy, but I don't even care
    Because I can tell what's going on It's hip to be square
  • Haha bravo sir.
  • "Square....the shape of evil!"
    - Plankton
  • If they're switching to circles.. Then what happens to the People live tile? Bubbles floating instead of squares flipping?
  • Exactly. My life tile on the W10TP does just that.
  • Where have you been lately? They already float.. ;)
  • Why not animated? No news here.
  • Lumia 950 will be a circular device. Revolutionary new design. It fits in your. Pocket like never before. No sharp corners to hurt yourself. It can roll to you whenever you need it. It can do this on its own by gps. The strong premium materials also make it a good frisbee. Never before did your contacts look as good as now. The most important people in your life are at the center. Unimportant people will automatically be cut off due the circular nature. Natural shapes is what this device is all about. Content shines with this device. For the moment some content might not be optimal but together with developers and partners we are revolutionizing the way we interact. Stay tuned for future updates. Yours sincerely, Nadella Fruitella
  • That reminds me of an old spoof video where they were hyping this round touch smartphone with Windows Mobile 6, the phone was like a multi-layered cylinder and one of the layers would open up when you flipped the phone. With all the layers opened it would look like a propeller. Anyone else has seen the video or did I just dream it one night? Because I have not been able to find said video...
  • You're on to something with the circular phone. Imagine all the Circle Pong games though...
  • Not crazy abou the the circles. Just the point of a square over a circle, you lose corners, so you cut data out and on some of the pictures on WIndows 10 Phone, it cuts out part of the face on some contacts. One step forward, 2 steps back... Seems like Microsoft in a nutshell of late..
  • Round monitors, paychecks, elevators, toilets (scary but intriguing) and doors. Welcome to the Shire!
  • What's up with Microsoft's circle-obsession all of a sudden?...
  • It is a visual indicator to differentiate between people and things.
  • Fortunately people and things still look different enough without needing such visual extra cues. ;)
  • Except that isnt true. games and movies have people on the cover.
  • Ahh so now you mean people in my contacts? I know who they are and what they look like, so don't need them to be circled either. :P Also, shouldn't songs and albums then be square (perhaps they are, haven't used the new music app yet)? :)
  • You obviously can't grasp it, that's cool.
  • :) I grasp it. What I meant is that the music app appears to be using circles for things too (i.e. albums or songs), but granted, I have not used it so perhaps it can differentiate between artists and their products. The other example provided by someone else was that even companies when entered as a contact may show up as a circle - again, not sure if that is indeed the case but if it is, would not follow the logic. Then again, like Romney said - "corporations are people!" : D
  • No, it is using circle for the artists, not the songs. Songs are content, artists are people.
    And, again. Businesses that YOU put in your PEOPLE HUB. -
    -
    Edit: As well, albums are square, because they are content, not people.
  • How are they obsessed?  It's just for PEOPLE only.  How is that hard to grasp?  Almost every other company does that now, so now it's consistent.
  • Besides just not liking the look and it - undeniably - limiting a bit what contact pics can show, I do think extending them to music really is a mistake as it will inevitably lead to odd cropping of badns, cover art etc. But perhaps that was just a beta experiment and will go away.
  • Albums are square, the artist (because they are people) are circles.
  • "every other company does that" isn't an argument in my opinion. It doesn't always mean it's better. I don't like the idea of circles, especially for album covers (it looks idiotic to me) but it seems i don't have a choice if i want to upgrade. The only thing i can do is give it a shot.
  • OMFG, albums are square. People complain about shit when they don't even fucking know. What in the actual fuck is going on?
  • if so that's great. By the way there's no need to be a dick about it, so calm your tits.
  • The point is that you and many others are judging without knowing what the hell you are talking about.   Though, I do apologize for my reply to you. It was not necessary.      
  • I recognize that. I probably misunderstood some things i read so far about W10. It's just that i like some things in WP the way they are. And i apologize myself for my ignorance. Should've done some research instead of hopping the hate train :)
  • Disgusting
  • What, no NFC badges, how old fashioned.
  • And cue five hundred whiney comments about hating circles....
  • You don't expect five hundred comments unless its about acquisition, releasing of updates or new device :P
  • And cue one whiney comment about whining...
  • We're getting close. haha
  • Loving the new, migrating polka dot People Tile in W10M Preview.