Microsoft already using "modern" instead of "Metro" in advertisements

Earlier this month, it was reported that Microsoft was going to ditch the "Metro" branding for its user interface made for Windows 8, Office 2013 and other products due to a copyright dispute with another company. Later, another rumor claimed that Microsoft had told its employees to use the term "Modern" for the UI.

Microsoft has confirmed that it would no longer use the Metro name but has yet to confirm it is using the "Modern" branding for the UI, saying only, "As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names." Now it looks like the "modern" branding is already being used.

A Neowin forum member sent us a link to an email he received promoting the recently launched preview version of Office 2013. As you can see in the image above, the email graphic states, "Enjoy the redesigned and modern (our emphasis) interface."

It would appear that Microsoft is moving forward with the Modern branding/terminology. But, until we get the official word from Microsoft, this could be yet another placeholder name.

Thanks to "Matthew_thepc" for the tip!

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30 Comments

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bj55555 said,
They should call it "post-skeumorphic UI" for the post-skeumorphic era of computing we're living in. LOL.

How do you know we're not already living in the post-modern era of computing. ;-)

So now Windows 8 Metro Crap become the new Windows 8 Modern Crap still Windwos ME: SE "Millennium Edition: Second Edition" hehe which is still going to be a major flop to thoses used a Desktop or Laptop

I prefer Metro
but I agree - it's not very clear in this email (at all) because they're using it as an adjective, though it is possible they're just going to define all their new UXs as "modern" instead of giving them a proper name.

"Modern" vs "modern". I think here the UI is being described and not named.

"Modern", "modern", just give back Metro!

Erm, what? They've used "modern" as an adjective, not branded it as Modern. Saying "Microsoft is moving forward with the Modern branding/terminology" based on this email alone is ludicrous. If you're going to make silly conclusions, why not just write an article claiming that Microsoft is calling the new interface - the "Redesigned and Modern" UI.

scumdogmillionaire said,

"Metro" was never a customer facing term in Windows. Only in development tools.

I doubt most consumers are even aware that Windows 8 exists. They'll just show up at Best Buy one day and see the new Start Screen and wonder "what's that?"

I'm glad they aren't using it as a pronoun. "Modern" would have extremely time-sensitive meaning just like "NT (New Technology)".

Shadrack said,
I'm glad they aren't using it as a pronoun. "Modern" would have extremely time-sensitive meaning just like "NT (New Technology)".

So you're saying we can't use words like high-definition or high-speed because they won't be valid in the future?

I'm not sure I get it. So a Desktop application and a "modern" application can each have a "modern" interface, but only one of them runs in the "modern" application environment?!

CJEric said,
I'm not sure I get it. So a Desktop application and a "modern" application can each have a "modern" interface, but only one of them runs in the "modern" application environment?!

"Metro" or "Modern" are visual design styles. Anything can have a Metro or Modern style regardless of app environment. Xbox 360 has a Metro/Modern style.

WinRT or WinpRT are the new application environments for Windows. Although it is discouraged, you can create applications for WinRT or WinpRT that do not have a Metro/Modern design style.

Avatar Roku said,

"Metro" or "Modern" are visual design styles. Anything can have a Metro or Modern style regardless of app environment. Xbox 360 has a Metro/Modern style.

WinRT or WinpRT are the new application environments for Windows. Although it is discouraged you can create an application for WinRT or WinpRT that do not have a Metro/Modern design style.


So are "modern" apps running in the WinRT environment going to be promoted as "WinRT apps" then? Is that the branding used with the general consumer? Like, if you bought a Windows RT tablet, would you be told that it only runs "WinRT apps" (and the "modern" Desktop Office) ?

CJEric said,

So are "modern" apps running in the WinRT environment going to be promoted as "WinRT apps" then? Is that the branding used with the general consumer? Like, if you bought a Windows RT tablet, would you be told that it only runs "WinRT apps" (and the "modern" Desktop Office) ?

I would imagine for the average consumer they'd just simply say "runs apps from the windows store only" seems pretty simple to me. It only gets complicated when everyone starts trying to second guess things and base assumptions on top of other assumptions.

Interesting that they're not using it as a proper name, but instead as an adjective/description. I got the feeling they were going to make a proper name for the interface and likely trademark it (so they'd avoid the problem they had with Metro).

Anthony Tosie said,
Interesting that they're not using it as a proper name, but instead as an adjective/description. I got the feeling they were going to make a proper name for the interface and likely trademark it (so they'd avoid the problem they had with Metro).

They might do. There isn't any indication that this has anything to do with what they have planned for the marketing of the new Windows 8 experience or that style of design.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Modern is being used here as a word, not a brand. Big difference.

Indeed, and Metro was always described as "modern".

Subhadip said,

Indeed, and Metro was always described as "modern".

Except that there is nothing modern looking about it. Rather the opposite.

Mackster said,

Except that there is nothing modern looking about it. Rather the opposite.


sounds like someone is stuck in the web 2.0 gradients and shiny everything phase, its a moving object you know....

duddit2 said,

sounds like someone is stuck in the web 2.0 gradients and shiny everything phase, its a moving object you know....

Stuck? This is purely a matter of taste. I don't mind if others like this 'modern' style. But personally, this new UI that MS is introducing is bland, made up by a single theme colors, and squares/rectangles. It's very simplistic, and just doesn't appeal to me at all, and reminds me of the past. The new outlook web interface looks terrible on my laptop, with it's single style and color.

I think MS is gambling big time with this UI. Good luck to them.