Tone and voice

A brand’s voice encompasses the types of words used, the way sentences are constructed, and how language flows. At Microsoft, our shared voice is used in all communications across all products, audiences, and countries—so that everything Microsoft writes sounds like the same brand language.

Voice principles

Crisp and clear

We're to the point. We write for scanning first, reading second. We make it simple above all.
Warm and relaxed

We're natural. Less formal, more grounded in real, everyday conversations. Occasionally, we're fun. (We know when to celebrate.)
Ready to lend a hand

We show customers we're on their side. We anticipate their real needs and offer great information at just the right time.

A brand's voice encompasses the types of words used, the way sentences are constructed, and how language flows. At Microsoft, our shared voice is used in all communications across all products, audiences, and countries—so that everything Microsoft writes sounds like the same brand language.

Writing is design

We use design to figure out all sorts of things: what a product does, how it works, and what it says. Good writing is good design. And at its best, great design feels like a conversation.

Our mantra

Be bold

Be clear

Be brief

Style tips

Get to the point fast

Start with the key takeaway. Put the most important thing in the most noticeable spot. Make choices and next steps obvious. Give people just enough information to make decisions confidently. Don’t get in the way.

Talk like a person

Choose optimistic, conversational language. Use short everyday words, contractions, and sentence-style capitalization. Shun jargon and acronyms. And never miss an opportunity to find a better word.

Simpler is better

Everyone likes clarity and getting to the point. Break it up. Step it out. Layer. Short sentences and fragments are easier to scan and read. Prune every excess word.

Tone and voice guidelines for UWP apps

To learn about tone and voice recommendations for UWP apps, see the Guidelines for app help section of the Microsoft Dev Center.