Microsoft's in-house artists got help from design agency Pentagram to come up with the new emblem. During the brainstorming process, Pentagram raised a pointed question: "your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?" In the end, the revamped logo turned out not unlike the original Windows 1.0 logo from 1985, which predated the flag motif.
The blog post, which was written by Microsoft User Experience Director Sam Moreau, outlines some of the goals Microsoft had for the updated logo:
1. We wanted the new logo to be both modern and classic by echoing the International Typographic Style (or Swiss design) that has been a great influence on our Metro style design philosophy. Using bold flat colors and clean lines and shapes, the new logo has the characteristics of way-finding design systems seen in airports and subways.
2. It was important that the new logo carries our Metro principle of being “Authentically Digital”. By that, we mean it does not try to emulate faux-industrial design characteristics such as materiality (glass, wood, plastic, etc.). It has motion – aligning with the fast and fluid style you’ll find throughout Windows 8.
3. Our final goal was for the new logo to be humble, yet confident. Welcoming you in with a slight tilt in perspective and when you change your color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.
Good on Microsoft for being bold and daring—that hasn't really been the company's forte in the past. I'll reiterate my assessment from the rumor coverage, though: the new logo does look a little bland.