Microsoft has had to officially axe the “Metro” name from it’s new UI in Windows 8. Several people had been wondering if Microsoft were going to keep up the “Metro” name when Windows 8 hits the market. Up until now Microsoft have claimed that it’s just been a code name while they developed Windows 8.
The Verge got a little sneaky look at some internal Microsoft documents which outlined the reasons for the change in them name. A potential trademark dispute arose after talks with an “important European Partner” who is thought to be German retail giant Metro AG.
Metro AG owns a trademark on the word and Microsoft had been threatened with legal action because of the name. In documents that Microsoft sent out to developers months ago, they outlined that “Metro” was the “code name for our design language” and they had picked it because the name was “modern and clean. It’s fast and in motion”.
From now on, Microsoft has asked developers to refer to it as “Windows 8 Style UI” for the time being.
In fairness to Microsoft, they have said right from the beginning, back in 2010 in it’s Windows Phone 7 Metro book that Metro was merely a “code name”. They never officially launched any products under that name.
So now Microsoft’s branding department has to go and put their thinking caps on and come up with a new name for their Metro UI. Microsoft have said that the Windows team is “working on a replacement term” and plans to “land on that by the end of this week”.
The Metro name is now most certainly debunked, but the UI that’s been developed around it is definitely here to stay.