General Microsoft Trademark Guidelines

The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft. This page contains detailed information about how to refer to Microsoft trademarks in different scenarios.

  • Proper use of Microsoft trademarks is important. You may use Microsoft trademarks or product names to refer to Microsoft products and services provided you follow these guidelines. Your use must not mislead consumers as to any Microsoft sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your company, or of your products or services.

  • Your registered publisher name and everything about your app—name, logo, description, screenshots—must be unique and free of Microsoft trademarks unless (1) you’ve secured permission from Microsoft through a license or equivalent (though such licenses are not generally available in this context); or (2) you’re using a Microsoft trademark (not including logos) to describe your app’s features or functionality without suggesting that the app is actually published by Microsoft. The name of your app, however, cannot begin with the Microsoft brand at issue. In addition, Microsoft logos cannot be used as a source identifier for your app, including but not limited to, your launch tile image.

    For example, you cannot name your app “MSN” or “Windows Media Player;” however, it would be acceptable to name your app “Reader for MSN” or “Media Player for Windows” as long as you do not use the MSN or Windows or Windows Media Player logos or otherwise suggest that the app is published by Microsoft. Additionally, language like "works with," "designed for," and "optimized for" are all acceptable terms to explain that your product is designed to work in conjunction with a Microsoft product or service.

  • The socialmedia guidelines associated with use of Microsoft trademarks are quite similar to the app guidelines included above. Specifically, your social media account names and any and all pages or communities should not include any Microsoft trademarks. Any associated account, page, or community images should not include any Microsoft logos. The only exceptions to these requirements are if (1) you’ve secured permission from Microsoft through a license or equivalent (though such licenses are not generally available in this context); or (2) you’re using a Microsoft trademark (not including logos) to describe the purpose of your account, page, or community without suggesting affiliation with Microsoft. Finally, any social media account should not use the name or likeness of any prominent individuals within Microsoft.

    For example, you cannot name your account, page, or community “Skype Forum” or “Microsoft Products.” However, it would be acceptable to name your account, page, or community “Forum for Skype Users” or “Information about Microsoft Products” as long as you do not use the Skype or Microsoft logos or otherwise suggest any affiliation with Microsoft.

  • You may use the names of Microsoft products and services on packaging, on websites, and in advertising materials to indicate your product's compatibility with a specific Microsoft product or service, provided the reference complies with the guidelines herein and the specifications below.