Windows 8: Metro apps are now called Windows Store apps

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 13, 2012
Updated • May 21, 2014
Microsoft, Windows 8

Back in August it became known that Microsoft decided to replace the term Metro which up to that point had been used by the company to describe the new user interface (Metro UI or Metro user interface), apps (Metro apps) and the design language itself (Metro).

What made this sort of confusing was the fact that Microsoft did not offer replacement terms right away. Articles on tech sites afterwards used a variety of terms, with Modern UI, Windows and Windows 8 being used most often. Metro apps turned to Modern UI apps, Windows apps or Windows 8 apps, and the Metro interface to the Modern UI interface or the startpage.

Microsoft kept quiet and did not intervene or correct at all. Even Microsoft-close sources and employees used Metro and several of the replacement forms, which added to the confusion.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division Soma Somasegar in an interview with Mary-Jo Foley revealed how Microsoft wants Metro-style apps to be named, and it is a term that many Windows users may have troubles relating to.

windows store apps

Metro-style apps in Windows 8, and future versions for that matter, will be called Windows Store apps. The interface on the other hand will not be called Windows Store, nor will it retain the Metro UI or user interface term. Somasegar did not reveal the official term for the interface, and it is still a guessing game when it comes to that.

Windows Store apps highlights Microsoft's intention to push the store in the operating system. I'd like to refer you to "Windows 8 will be Microsoft's new cash cow" on Betanews for a detailed analysis why the company is doing that.

The term Windows Store apps is confusing as well, as apps do not necessarily have to come from the store. The majority of apps definitely will, but it is likely that at least some apps will be installed using third party apps. Think about Firefox or Chrome, and how a Windows Store app-version gets installed on the operating system if you make the browser the default one. Is the Firefox app also a Windows Store app then? Apparently it is, even if it is not listed in the store itself. Confusing..

That's not the only name change though. The Windows Phone Marketplace has been renamed to Windows Phone Store, which in turn makes it likely that Windows Phone apps may be called Windows Phone Store apps in the future.

It is also still unclear why Microsoft changed the Metro references in first place. Everyone assumed it was because of German company Metro AG, but as far as I know, this has never been confirmed by Microsoft.

What's your take on the name changes in this critical period before launch?


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