Microsoft prepping for complete brand and product line relaunch, New York store coming the 26th

New, crisp, clean website designs are just a start

Microsoft has been busy launching new services, designs for established properties, and keeping a number of secrets under wraps in the run up to the eventful weeks ahead. We've been looking forward to this part of 2012 as it'll be when Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Surface tablets, Office, new Xbox update, and - of course - Halo 4. 

We've already seen Microsoft go big with the launch to replace the aging Live / Hotmail email service, but the software giant has revealed plans to apply changes across the board. Yesterday we covered a detailed blog post that walked readers through the new design that'll be applied to the MSN portal later this month - changes have been applied to Microsoft web properties, including the official website (opens in new tab) as well as the home of Visual Studio (see above).

It's going to be a huge month for the company, who has taken up the task to rebrand with a modern look. From changing the branding of a handful of products and services to incorporating the iconic retro Windows logo colour scheme into the company's replacement design to replace 'Microsoft'.

New MS Logo

There's a lot riding on the success of all launches we're expecting to see in the next handful of weeks, and the company is investing in a brand new interface for consumers to associate Windows with. Windows Phone Central will be joined by smartphone owners to see what the company has to unveil for Apollo. Details are still believed to be kept locked safe on a foreign planet with not even Russian reviewers being allowed to take a gander through the new hardware.

It's a new change for Redmond. A massive change at that - 2013 will see a new Microsoft.

Microsoft appears to like this month...

To cope with the potential (and likely) increase in demand for products and services, Microsoft will be opening a number of 'holiday stores' across the US to compliment the ever-growing increase of bricks and mortar Microsoft Stores that have been sprouting up this year. By checking out the recently revamped Microsoft Store website (opens in new tab), one can locate the nearest establishment to one's location. It seems as though each and every holiday store is set to open on October 26th.

Are you ready to join Microsoft in its system reboot?

Thanks, travisbrowny, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Kind of broke so in my dreams im already shopping :-/
  • I've been ready for months. Release the shit.
  • Release the good stuff too! You can have the shit :P
  • Hahaha! At this point I'll take anything. It seems like we've been waiting forever!
  • My credit card is ready for all my Win8 gear :)
  • Me too :)
  • Me too, not a CC but a couple of grand cash :)
  • Same with I. Been using WIN8 pre. didn't like it at first but now I couldn't see using anything else. buy #1 on the #2 .drive over to Salem NH buy a surface just as soon as the download is done on this rig... buy #3 WP8 just as soon as I can. same day I hope.
  • I'd swap 1 and 2 in case surface goes on backorder
  • My main concerns are wp7.8/8 and the Zune rebrand. I still have yet to get an answer if my Zune HD will work with Xbox music. I already have the new Xbox update through the beta.
  • I'm going to bet on probably not but it would be cool if they did make it work with Xbox Music.  Or it would be cool if they opened it up so it could be used with any music program or even drag and drop.
  • You'll definitely need Zune.
  • So many things, so beautiful. GIVE
  • Well I really want a surface pro :D And windows 8. And WP7.8. In fact, just give me all teh windoze.
  • Wahahah! "Not even Russian reviewers" Nice one, as it seems those Russians get a "hands-on" on many new things that other reviewers can't yet.
  • wpcentral need also to update to Windows8(Metro) UI?
  • Then it wouldn't make sense with their sister sites.
  • Why not? It makes sense since they are carrying more MS specific news and the new UI is a major part of that. It would give the site an even closer identity with the products they cover. The other sites are not relevant in this case because each sit covers unique content so doesn't need to look alike.
  • It won't go with the rest of mobile nations then
  • Windows 8 and the new Office are fantastic, so honestly they had ought to do well.
  • I'm excited as they are.
  • I have my money ready for it! Just sold my iPad for it :) ... can't wait anymore!
  • im already on w8, waiting for surface and wp8 and yes, i LOVE the new look/style :-)
  • Bank balance ready to go d
  • Lol, nice.
  • Cute
  • I'm ready -.-
  • Bring it on! Can't Wait...
  • XBOX Music is a steal when compared to iTunes. $99.00 a year for all the music you want is awesome. My daughter uses it all the time on XBOX and I use the same account on my phone. I load up the latest tunes and connect to my car via Bluetooth to pass time while commuting. If you tried that with iTunes you'd quickly go past the $99.00 mark because you pay per song. I also use that same account on Windows 8 - final version. Downloaded from MSDN last month... XBOX Music is a great deal IMHO.
  • How much is Xbox Music?
  • I will be buying a Surface and a Phone on day 1. But my real job is to educate the current userbase on the up coming changes. I think on tablets it will be pretty easy for people. But I think on the desktop there will be a lot of confusion. So far it feels as though Microsoft is just throwing people into the swimming pool to see if they can swim. I have seen the help section on the RTM, and I seriously hope this isn't the same help section that comes out on day 1 at launch. Even though I love Windows 8, i'm struggling a little bit with how to teach people to use it. I hope they have a lot more in store for educating the end user, instead of just telling them to visit all four corners of the screen. Anxiously nervous for Oct. 25th.
  • Yes, I'm ready.  Just hope they don't flub the marketing.  Microsoft's naming choices have been poor.  Windows Phone 8 is a boring name.  Windows RT is a galactically stupid name.  "Windows Store app" is a monumentally stupid name.  So, on the bright side, there probably isn't much left for them to screw up.
  • That said, they could turn it all around on Launch day: revealing all new catchy names and conventions?!
  • Microsoft needs to release the SDK for WP8 so devs can get kicking on developing apps. This is the one thing I see them not making the right decision on. We're all here cause we love WP and are rooting for it but sometimes Microsoft really makes that a chore. We now have excellent hardware to go with the excellent Os. At this point its about the apps and the SDK is needed for this to happen. Get it going Microsoft!!!
  • I am ready!!
  • Now the big question... How early do I need to show up at at my local Pop Up store on the 26th to ensure I get a Surface?
  • Am I the only one not excited for Halo 4?
  • You are the only one
  • I am excited, but after Halo 3, ODST and Reach I can't say that I will be picking this up. They have a LOT to prove before they restore my confidence in the series. 
  • Love "Metro", love the rebranding. Never before has there been such a wide swatch of applications and services undergone such a radical change and improvement. I'm love it and can't wait for it to be here, now!
  • All I want is the new calendar in outlook!!!!
  • +1 the current calendar in hotmail / live is terrible! Needs the rebrand like!
  • So is there still no date for any of this stuff finally being fully revealed?
  • What's the likelihood that Halo 4 won't be availabe for Surface RT on Launch?
    That has been their M.O for Halo launches; bundling them with new O.S.'s!