After Metro: Windows Store Apps and Modern Apps

When Microsoft announced that it would no longer be using the Metro branding, many were left wondering how Microsoft would refer to the apps in Windows 8. With Metro gone, the confusion quickly caused anguish among those working with the applications as how to properly refer to them in the public sector. Thanks to an interview Neowin conducted today with Soma Somasegar, we now have better clarity into how to properly distinguish between Modern Apps and Windows Store Apps.

In short, Modern Apps is a high level look at applications and does not refer to a single application but is the shell that some Windows Store apps reside. Modern App refers to how an application works and by Soma's definition, any application that spans multiple platforms (Windows 8 and Azure or Windows Phone and Azure, or Windows Phone and Windows 8) is considered a modern application. An application that only runs inside Windows 8's new Start screen, is considered a Windows Store App.

A Windows Store App is not necessarily a Modern App, an example of this would be any application that is standalone, such as Escapa. Escapa would be considered a Windows Store App, but not a modern App because it stands alone and does not depend on any other service to operate. If Escapa added functionality to have cross platform gaming, then it would be a Modern App too. Essentially, a Windows Store App can also be a Modern App too but not all Windows Store Apps are Modern Apps.

As Microsoft works to removed Metro from search engine results, they will replace it with Windows Store Apps and Modern Apps. Always remember that a Modern App is an app that spans Microsoft's ecosystems and Windows Store Apps are specific to the Windows Store. 

If you have questions for Soma, he will be doing a Reddit AMA on Friday at 11:00am - Pacific.

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It seems to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing by telling us there confused as well. Is Microsoft imploding in on itself.

The problem is they started this whole thing by keeping the windows name.... really should have expected them to continue the crappy name mantra but I had faith that with a "reimagined" windows we would see reimagined names/marketing.

Should have just called the os Surface and the apps Surface Apps (or some variant of that).

I get what he's saying, but it's too confusing. Too bad for Microsoft that they had to get rid of "Metro", that term is already sticky in every techie's mind.

"Windows Store App" is the worst name I think I ever heard, and Microsoft has had some zingers. Kudos, for keeping in with your horrible naming schemes, Microsoft. That's some genius you have there.

Metro was a good name as it stands for the OS design paradigm of today. Calling it 'Modern' is akin to calling Art Deco 'modern' when that was current in its day.

x.iso said,
I thought technically they're called "WinRT apps"

I think they're calling WinRT apps "Windows Store Apps" now. Although I'm not sure whether Desktop apps listed in the store would be "Windows Store Apps" as well, but I guess not. And of course, Windows Store apps, as has been made "clear" now, are not necessarily Modern apps. I think Modern apps have to be Windows Store apps though (?)

It seemed like Microsoft was doing everything right with their products. . . . Then I read this article.

Edited by Calum, Sep 13 2012, 8:01am :

This metro, modern, windows, store app along with Windows 8 is the biggest mistake made ever by Microsoft. This should be cleared in Windows 9. It's much worst than it was Vista.

thomastmc said,
Ya, thanks for clearing that all up.

Who's on first base?

How will they spin it to the average consumer though? Or does MS not care. Two different app stores? Some can be in both, while others cannot. LOL. Way to make it confusing. Was better when everything was Metro. I forsee that one of these will close as they find the average consumer will just go another route that deal with this.

HMM. are these supposed to be business only? or really consumer products now?

moloko said,
WOW this is even more confusing. LOL.

And there was me complaining about all the different rebranding they've been doing of their .. wait for it... live/windows live/bing/hotmail/msn/passport/microsoft account... (did i miss any)and thats just the top level branding, lets not for get each one that they sub brand such as email... hotmail, live mail/windows live mail/windows mail/windows live mail desktop, outlook/outlook express/ .. ok i've had enough you get the idea..

I don't care what Microsoft wants to call it anymore. Its still msn (messenger), its still hotmail (email), and its going to be still Metro for the new Windows 8 apps.

The entire thing about its a shell of what platforms it runs on is something consumers really don't care about. It either works on the platform they're using, or it doesn't. Metro was a lable for just that, making up multiple ones is just insane, people don't know the difference between MB and Mb for the most part, giving them stupid names to throw around is just going to confuse everything and everything... not only that but trying to find any information regarding the new buzz words on a search engine is going to be terrible.

virtorio said,
The people from Marketing must have slept though the meeting where they came up with this.

You mean there's meetings where Marketing don't fall asleep?!

Metro was such a good name, specially since everyone including the, started to call the Windows Phone UI "Metro".

I guess we will still refer to Modern and Windows Apps just as "apps", like everyone on other platforms.

This is perhaps the most confusing naming scheme by microsoft to date. I have no doubt people will continue to be furious about it. Kudos MS!

underthebridge said,
This is perhaps the most confusing naming scheme by microsoft to date. I have no doubt people will continue to be furious about it. Kudos MS!

That was my first thought when reading this article. "That's totally not confusing at all" /s

underthebridge said,
This is perhaps the most confusing naming scheme by microsoft to date. I have no doubt people will continue to be furious about it. Kudos MS!

Nothing will ever top Windows Live. NOTHING.

MorganX said,
Microsoft needs to clean this all up by Windows 9.

I know exactly what he's talking about, but at the same time I feel so confused! Jeezz, can't MS make this any simpler?! I liked Metro Apps as it sounds very fresh to me. Modern Apps sounds a bit lame imho!