Microsoft to Drop the Metro Name for Windows 8’s UI

The company says Metro was only a codename for the interface

  Windows 8's start screen
Ever since Windows 8 was first showcased to the world, we’ve been constantly hearing of its new user interface, called Metro, which also powers applications built specifically for the platform.

Ever since Windows 8 was first showcased to the world, we’ve been constantly hearing of its new user interface, called Metro, which also powers applications built specifically for the platform.

As it turns out, we might no longer hear this term in relation to the UX or the new user experience that the upcoming platform has to offer.

Rumor has it that Microsoft is working on diminishing the use of the term, and that it might even try to eliminate it entirely.

According to some rumors, the Redmond-based company might be set to move away from the Metro name to avoid some copyright disputes.

However, it would not officially confirm that. Instead, a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that Metro was, in fact, only a codename for the UI.

“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,” said Microsoft official commented.

On the one hand, there are some who claim that Microsoft is trying to avoid confusion that the term might have created.

On the other hand, The Verge notes that the software giant took the decision to move away from using the term after consulting with an important European partner.

Until now, Microsoft used Metro to refer to the new look of Windows 8’s Start Screen, which is flatter, cleaner and more modern. Additionally, the Metro-style term was used for applications that were built for the new platform using the WinRT environment.

Lately, Microsoft started to include elements of the new interface in more products than Windows 8 and Windows Phone (the latter actually had it first), including Xbox Live, Office 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and the recently launched Outlook.com.

With Windows 8 released to manufacturing two days ago and expected to land on shelves in late October, the same month when Windows Phone 8 might arrive, it remains to be seen how this change will reflect on final products.

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