Microsoft Shelves Metro UI Brand Name In Favor of "Windows 8-style UI"

Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2012 - 05:02 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, microsoft, metro ui

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system has reached Release To Manufacturing (RTM) status, and it further has ditched the Metro UI name. Instead, the company has decided to use the term “Windows 8-style UI” to refer to the new interface and applications.

While the actual tile-based interface itself is still part of the OS, several factors seem to have caused Microsoft to rebrand it. A Microsoft representative was quoted by ZDNet in stating that Metro UI was simply an internal code name never intended to be used as the final brand name. Specifically:

“We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names.”

That’s all well and good–the company has used many codenames for in-development products in the past. However, it does seem to be a bit late in the game to announce that the Metro UI name is suddenly dead, especially considering the public development cycle with two public betas so far and numerous articles using the Metro name to refer to the new Windows 8 interface and apps.

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Another possible reason for the change to “Windows 8-style UI” lies in alleged legal threats by German retailer Metro AG. According to The Verge, sources have indicated that Microsoft backed off from using the Metro name in order to avoid a legal dispute with the retailer. As far as trademarks go, Microsoft could have fought them in court with a chance of being allowed to continue using Metro as the companies and the products referred to by their “Metro” brand names are in different industries. Metro AG is a huge company, however. It would have the money and resources to give Microsoft a good court battle for the name.

In an interesting move, it seems that Microsoft and Metro AG have backed away from a court battle by agreeing to disagree. The Verge quotes an internal Microsoft memo as stating that due to talks with “an important European partner,” (possibly Metro AG) the company is discontinuing its usage of the Metro term/brand. Until a more permanent and official brand name is released, Microsoft has decided to go with “Windows 8-style UI,” and is instructing everyone else to as well.

Whatever the real reason for the change, the Metro UI is gone, at least in name. Will you miss the Metro term?

Source: Maximum PC
August 5, 2012 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

quick, CLICK THE DESKTOP TILE... arggggggg

August 5, 2012 | 12:07 PM - Posted by gc (not verified)

"Windows 8-style UI"
That's a mouthful. What's a good abbreviation?

SUI (sue-ee) rhymes with GUI (goo-ee)
StUI (stew-ee), may be confused with 'stew'
StyUI (styew-ee), still may be confused with 'stew'
StylUI (sty-looee) may be confused with sty/loo

WESUI (wee-sue-ee), may be confused with Wii
W8SUI (wait-sue-ee), may be confused with 'wait'
Win8SUI (win-ate-sue-ee), contains 'innate', may be ok

maybe drop 'style' as the hyphen and lowercase suggests:

WEUI (wee-oo-ee) may be confused with Wii UI or Wii-Wii or wee-wee,
also connotes that UI is tiny, for small devices or toddlers, not all-in-ones or TVs.
W8UI (wait-oo-ee) contains 'wait', 'ptooey' (word for sound of spitting)

I guess WEUI (wee-you-eye) may be the intended abbreviation, but they may have trouble attracting developers if teams are always talking about their wee-wee or their Wii UI.

Also, isn't a feature of the "Windows-8 style UI" that it doesn't have windows as we previously understood them? So including "windows" in the name seems inappropriate.

The name "Metro" will be hard to replace.
One good feature of "Metro" is that it starts with a square letter 'M' which corresponds well to the square-cornered brightly-colored rectangles that are prominent in the UI. "Metro" can be an abbreviation for "Metropolitan" or a synonym for "subway" or "light railway", so it also is associated with city pedestrians, who are a target market for the original mobile devices. Many cities are modernizing their metros, so "Metro" may be associated with shiny technology and investment. "Metro" also contains the word "met", past tense of "meet", something the mobile devices may help you do.

August 5, 2012 | 12:14 PM - Posted by Fausto (not verified)

Nobody can trademark a word like "metro", it has Greek roots, also is the spanish word for "Meter" (as in Kilometer = Kilometro, or 1 meter = 1 metro), in spanish speaking countries like someone else said before, we use that word instead of using "tren subterraneo".
My Advice to Microsoft, put the Metro name and if they want to sue... well a good set of excellent lawyers can destroy any stupid company who wants to pass as a legal owner of the word Metro, if not, buy the company, or force them to bankrupcy...

August 5, 2012 | 07:38 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, I am surprised that Microsoft didn't fight for it, after using it for this long. 

August 6, 2012 | 02:35 AM - Posted by Branthog

I'm just going to keep calling it "shit".

August 6, 2012 | 08:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think microsoft should call it POOPO!

December 18, 2012 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Johana Longmore (not verified)

Some genuinely excellent articles on this internet site , thanks for contribution.

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