Microsoft Unveils Logo for “NERD”

Microsoft’s New England Research & Development Center at One Memorial Drive here in Cambridge, MA—NERD, as it is so affectionately called inside and outside the company—has quickly become one of the central gathering spots for the Boston tech community.

In late March, the company opened a big conference area on its second floor, and almost from day one has been making it available for free to a variety of outside groups—from Tech Tuesdays to the Environmental Defense Fund, which just last week held an unconference about green business practices at NERD.

Well, as part of that welcoming spirit, I guess you would call it, the company has quietly posted its logo for the facility. The logo shows the Boston skyline (roughly as seen from NERD) in shaded blue, and the stylized Longfellow Bridge connecting it with Cambridge in orange. “We kind of flipped the switch this morning,” says Sara Spalding, senior director of NERD. “We really felt that we wanted to have a design that reflected our presence her in the greater Boston area, and Cambridge in particular.”

Out to get to the bottom of the story in true hard-hitting journalistic fashion, I asked her if there was a deep symbolism behind the logo, such as a metaphorical bridge linking Microsoft with the larger Boston innovation scene.

Nope. “There’s no clever reverse image or play it backwards on your stereo,” she says. “There’s no deeper meaning.”

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