That’s right folks — Microsoft has now changed the name of the new interface to ‘Windows 8’ and calls it ‘Modern’ as a non-confusing alternative.
‘Metro’ Is Now ‘Windows 8’, ‘Modern’
Call it Metro no more. Call it ‘Windows 8’ instead. Or ‘Modern’, if that’s how you like your interface. It is the final result of the name change saga that started earlier this week at Microsoft. The Redmond company was allegedly moved to the decision after meeting with a very important ‘European partner’ and sent out an internal memo on Thursday that told employees to slow down and stop the use of ‘Metro’ as a name for the new interface.
Nobody has been able to answer one of the all important questions here — who is this mysterious and powerful ‘European Partner’ who is influential enough to make Microsoft take such a decisive step. Metro is the name that Microsoft has been using since the launch of Windows Phone 7 Series to describe the new, flat and quite well received user interface. With the approach of Windows 8, the term became all the more popular because we needed to distinguish between the classic Windows Dekstop environment and ‘Metro’ style things for the new interface. It was an easy, non-pretentious name and people liked it. So why did they change it?
Well, the official story from Microsoft is that the name Metro was always a code-name. A placeholder if you will. Now that they are approaching the release of Windows 8, it was necessary to abolish that. The question here is why now? Why not after the release of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango? Why not during the Developer Preview Release of Windows 8? Some are suggesting Microsoft is trying to avoid a potential lawsuit because it might be registered to somebody else. It is a pretty common name after all.
Others are saying that the company has finally woken up to the problems and confusions it might cause when it comes to branding. Whatever it is, weeding it out of the general vocabulary is going to take some time. Because ‘Windows 8 style app’ just doesn’t have the right to it.