Microsoft has moved to quell an impending lawsuit from a German retailer by changing the name of the Windows UI formerly known as Metro. It just hasn’t yet quite made its mind up over what to change the name to.
Ever since work began on Windows 8 the user interface that sits between the start screen and the old desktop we all know and (mostly) love was known as the Metro UI. No more. With Metro AG issuing a trademark dispute over the whole Metro branding Microsoft has decided to change the name at the last minute. But change the name to what?
Depending on the source you listen to Metro will now be known either as ‘Windows 8 user interface‘ or the ‘Modern UI style‘. Other pundits suggest both of these are just bland terms tiding the company over until it figures out a new catchy name to replace Metro with for the longterm. Whatever the truth is Microsoft is running out of time, with Windows 8 due to be released on Oct. 26, 2012.
I personally wonder why the change is necessary in the first place. Was anyone really ever going to confuse the UI of Microsoft latest operating system with anything produced by a German retailer? I also think it’s a shame, as Metro was a solid name that had managed to work its way into the collective mindset of geeks everywhere. Neither Windows 8 user interface or Modern UI style have the same ring about them.
Microsoft is trying to put a brave face on the whole sorry palaver, claiming Metro was only ever intended to be a part of the industry dialog, with a new name always bound to be sought in time to face mainstream consumers with. But no one in their right mind believes that hokum. Windows 8 is coming and coming fast, we just don’t quite know what its most important feature will be commonly known as.