Google's latest logo is Mahatma Gandhi

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Google logoGoogle (GOOG) watchers are having to get more sophisticated by the day. In honor of today's notable anniversary, the world's largest internet search company has changed its logo to feature the face of a bespectacled old man with a mustache in the place of the logo's letter "G". It is none other than Mahatma Gandhi who was born on October 2, 1869 making today his 140th birthday.

Gandhi was one of the most famous social activists in history and the father of modern India. He championed non-violent civil disobedience and was an inspiration to Dr. Martin Luther King. He was an early advocate of women's rights, the poor, and of reconciliation among ethnic groups.

The move shows, once again, the strength and iconic power of Google's logo and the company's quirky willingness to take the risk of altering it. Most corporations would never change their logos because they are such a critical part of their branding. Google, on the other hand, wants the world to see it as a disruptive force. "Playing" with its branding may bolster that perception.

One thing is for certain, Mahatma Gandhi will not be replacing the IBM (IBM) logo anytime soon.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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