Metro's new name is Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2012
Updated • Aug 10, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

Take this with a grain of salt as it has not been officially confirmed yet by Microsoft. According to Mary Jo Foley the company has finally decided on a new name for the design language formerly known as Metro. The new name? Windows 8. Now, if that is confusing you then you are definitely not the only one.

What you basically have to do is replace every instance of Metro with Windows 8 and you are golden. So Metro apps become Windows 8 apps, the Metro interface the Windows 8 interface, and the Metro design the Windows 8 design.

It appears that manufacturers such as Lenovo were quick to act. When you look at the shop page for the company's upcoming Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 you will notice among other things that it lists desktop and Windows 8 apps as a feature on the right.

windows 8 apps

Am I the only one who thinks it is awkward to replace Metro with Windows 8? First and foremost, what happens when Windows 9 gets released? Is Microsoft already planning to switch the interface design language again in the operating system, or will it simply replace the term Windows 8 with Windows 9 when the operating system comes out? Or will we refer to the interface of Windows 9 as the Windows 8 interface? I really can't see that happening, and unless Microsoft moves away from traditional operating system names completely, for instance by sticking with Windows 8, or naming the next iteration Windows 8 XP or something like that, it could turn out to be a confusing choice for the software giants customers and users of the operating system.

Mary Jo also wondered what would happen to Windows Phone and its use of Metro, and it appears, that Microsoft will replace Metro there as well with Windows 8. That to be honest makes even less sense and could even lead to more confusion in the long run.

If you ask me, a far better approach would have been to stick with Windows - without the 8 - instead, as it would have simplified things considerably. Microsoft would not run into issues when they release the next versions of Windows Phone or the Windows operating system.

What Microsoft has done is replace the Metro name that it found to be overused with a name that is even more generic than that. Now we are basically calling everything app and interface related Windows 8, both on the Windows 8 desktop systems and Windows Phone, and if that does not lead to confusion and over use then I may be in the wrong line of business.

Update: The Verge is now reporting that Microsoft may select a different name after all. They noticed that Microsoft employees starting to use Modern UI instead of Metro or Windows 8. Still, until we get official word from Microsoft it is just another rumor.


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  1. berttie said on August 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    They should have used a descriptive name for it, perhaps a 4 letter one beginning with ‘C’ and ending in ‘P’!

  2. Stonecold said on August 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    This is why I like Ubuntu (well, Kubuntu). It’s got two names! If I don’t feel like calling it by its weird name (Precise Pangolin) I just call it by its version (12.04). There’s never an issue about the name because it’s named according to when it was released (12.04 was released on April 12, or something).

  3. ilev said on August 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm
  4. John Doe said on August 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Urban dictionary definition of Metro = “looks nice but not gay”. Can you blame them for changing it? After all, Metro looks like crap and is totally gay!

  5. Manny said on August 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    It would have made sense to name the new interface “Windows Touch” but that would have implied that it’s not meant for the desktop. Considering M$ looks poised to use update Tuesday as a means to disable Start Menu hacks they clearly want us to believe it’s also made for the desktop.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the general public reacts to Win 8 tablets the same way they did to Windows Phone 7. If they do, will M$ go back to its roots and produce a real desktop OS (Windows 9)?

  6. Allen said on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    So . . . loving the Windows 8 interface on my 2009 Zune?

  7. Leslie said on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    What this tells me is that after all these years the spin doctors working at Microsoft are starting to crack under the pressure. To create a terminology linked to a specific version is simply suicidal. Two suggestions right off the top of my head would be Microsoft start or Windows Launch.

    Having said that I think that they had every right to use the Microsoft Metro name – I do not think anyone would confuse it with a company called Metro Inc. I mean next we will hear that you wouldn’t be able to name a railway station Metro Central for example. Simply stupid all around.

  8. fokka said on August 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    i like windows. i liked xp, i even liked vista and of course i like windows 7. one could say that i like microsoft, if only for the fact that they produce an os that fits my needs quite well.

    that said, i can only shake my head on the majority of decisions ms makes in regard of windows 8 and won’t even mention windows phone.

    in my opinion, all this makes ms seem extremely unrealistic, disconnected from the users and i dare to say the lamest of the better known tech-companies.

    i don’t wanna seem like a jerk, but something in me hopes that ms falls flat on it’s face with all this metro-crap.

    i know that we live in a renaissance of computing right now; devices change, interfaces and input devices, everything and everyone gets “mobile”. i understand the need for a unified user-experience between all the different kinds of devices and i don’t want to argue against it.

    the problem, to me, is it seems ms tries to force their “solution”, metro, on the user. i’m ok if they make metro-phones. they had a very small install-base with windows mobile, so why not try something new? but keep your oh-so-efficient ui off of more conventional computers like laptops and desktops! or at least make it optional, without the need to hack and tweak your new pc/installation, just so you can get rid of this thing you never wanted.

    i for one like many improvements ms made to the desktop-side of w8. i WANT to upgrade! but ms tries everything to force metro on the user and as a consequence, me away from windows 8.

    the sad thing is, the majority of new computers will ship with w8, once it’s out. the average user who buys a new machine will have to use it and you know what? he will get used to it. not because he wants to, no, because ms wants to.

    and when that time has come, the traditional desktop will inevitably get reduced to a minimum, until it dissappears completely.

    and thats something i absolutely don’t want to happen.

    sorry, that’s just my fears, my expectations, my opinion. but i really don’t like the development i’m seeing today.


    ps: sorry, what was the topic?

  9. ray said on August 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Microsoft found themselves in pending litigation when they found that Metro was being used by another company dealing with electronic retail. Thats the reason why they had to drop the Metro name. However, they were caught short of time and could not use their marketing acumen to come up with a more original name than Windows 8 apps

  10. Yoav said on August 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    This perfectly reflects the level of originality at M$.

  11. ilev said on August 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

    If would be the laugh of the IT world when Microsoft will try to sell Windows 9 next year
    as using “Windows 8 application”,”Windows 8 user interface.”, “Windows 8 design.”…..

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