The Microsoft voice is how we talk to people. It's the interplay of personality, substance, tone, and style. Though our voice is constant regardless of who we're talking to or what we're saying, we adapt our tone—from serious to empathetic to lighthearted—to fit the context and the customer's state of mind.
One brand, one voice
Microsoft interacts directly with more than a billion customers worldwide. So it's crucial that our voice be distinctive yet consistent. Our unified voice sets us apart in a crowded marketplace and helps us communicate as one Microsoft to each customer, wherever we meet.
Three voice principles
Our voice hinges on crisp simplicity. Bigger ideas and fewer words. Less head, more heart.
Warm and relaxed
We're natural. Less formal, more grounded in real, everyday conversations. Occasionally, we're fun. (We know when to celebrate.)
Crisp and clear
We're to the point. We write for scanning first, reading second. We make it simple above all.
Ready to lend a hand
We show customers we're on their side. We anticipate their needs and offer great information at just the right time.
Use these style tips to help you start weaving our brand voice into everything you write.
Focus on the customer
Our voice reflects our commitment to empowering people to achieve more. Talking to customers in a way that's warm and relaxed, crisp and clear, and ready to lend a hand shows them they're important, listened to, and respected.
Talk like a person
Choose optimistic, conversational language. Use short, everyday words and contractions like it's and you're. Shun technical and business jargon and acronyms. In other words, talk like a human, not like a robot.
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.
Everyone appreciates clarity. Break it up. Step it out. Layer. Short sentences and fragments are easier to scan and read.
Kill off weak writing
Axe you can and there is, there are, there were. Prune every excess word. And never miss an opportunity to find a better word.
Keep it simple
Skip the period at the end of headlines, headings, subheads, and UI labels. And capitalize only the first word of a heading or phrase and any names or proper nouns.
When you're ready to dig deeper, check out these resources.
Microsoft style guide
Search the Microsoft Writing Style Guide for help with style and terminology questions. Everyone who has a Microsoft.com email account has access. To get access for vendors or suppliers, send their email addresses to email@example.com with the subject line: Add style guide access.