Microsoft to Drop 'Metro' Design Name, Looks to Replace It with 'Modern' (Update)


Microsoft to Drop 'Metro' Design Name

Update 2: Well, what do you know? According to The Verge, Microsoft has started using 'Modern UI' to reference the design of Metro Windows 8 apps. Tom Warren pointed to several listings of upcoming Microsoft events that are using terms like 'Modern UI design language', 'Modern UI Style apps', and 'Modern UI-Style UI' (what a mouthful). An MSDN blog post from a few days ago also used 'Modern UI design' to describe Windows 8's (for the lack of a better word) modern design. Judging from the fact that the word is being capitalized in all instances, and is popping up all over the place, we wouldn't be surprised that 'Modern' is indeed the new Metro. After all, the tile-based UI on Windows 8 used to have a codename called 'MoSH', which stands for 'modern shell'.

Update: According to the sources of ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, the replacement name for 'Metro' is simply - are you ready for it? - 'Windows 8'. So, 'Metro app' is now 'Windows 8 app', and 'Metro UI is now 'Windows 8 UI', and so on. Foley also pointed to Lenovo's promo page for the Windows 8 ThinkPad Tablet 2 as evidence for the name change. What about apps on Windows 8 (the OS) that aren't Metro Windows 8 apps? Well, those are simply called 'desktop' apps. Apparently, sources of Foley are saying that this naming convention would also apply to Windows Phone. If all these were true, we can't help but wonder: What happens when Windows 9 comes around?

For two years, we've been calling Microsoft's new design language Metro. But moving forward, we probably shouldn't. According to The Verge, Microsoft is advising developers to not use the word 'Metro' when they're referring to the interface of Windows Phone or Windows 8. Instead, they should use the non-too-catchy 'New User Interface' or 'Windows 8 Style UI'. A possible explanation is that this is a result of a dispute with German company Metro AG.

Microsoft also told several media outlets that it's dropping the Metro name because it's a code name. So, as products get closer to launch, code names are usually dropped in favor of their commercial names. Now, while we can understand 'Metro' being a code name, we can't fathom who would think that 'New User Interface' is a better name, especially when it's a consumer-facing one. We've no doubts that executives at the Redmond company is now sweating over a better replacement name.

In any case, adiós Metro, we hardly knew you!

Source: The Verge (2), ZDNet, The Verge (1).

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