Microsoft quietly drops the Metro name for the Windows 8 UI

by Doug Drinkwater

August 13 2012

The Windows 8 user interface will now be known as the 'Modern UI'
The Windows 8 user interface will now be known as the 'Modern UI'

Microsoft has dropped the ‘Metro’ name used to describe the user interface featuring on Windows 8 desktops, tablets and phones.

The Redmond software company is now branding the tile-based interface as ‘Modern UI’ and maintains that the Metro name was only ever an ‘in-development’ working title.

The bigger picture is that Microsoft was facing a possible trademark dispute with German conglomerate Metro AG, the world’s fifth largest retailer, which claimed to hold rights to the Metro name.

Microsoft has already replaced most references to the Metro UI on most of its websites, and told developers and staff to refrain from using the Metro name last week.

This news, while unlikely to cause any damage to the Windows 8 brand, will be of annoyance of Microsoft. The firm reportedly modelled the Metro name and design on transportation signs in and around Seattle and has long since banded around phrases like the ‘Metro UI, ‘Metro experience’ and ‘Metro style’ online and at Windows 8 launch events.

The Metro name is certainly more catchy than ‘Modern’, although the latter does at least accurately portray an operating system which has been heralded as the most innovative from Microsoft since Windows 95.

Windows 8 is due to go live to the general public on October 26, and has already been released to Microsoft’s manufacturing partners.

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