Report: Metro rebranding to come this week

Following news that Microsoft would be phasing out the "Metro" branding of its design language, it now appears the company will have a new term to replace the outgoing moniker later this week.

Metro, as it's currently known, will be replaced by a term that Microsoft "plans to land on that by the end of this week," according to a leaked memo obtained by The Verge. Microsoft has told employees to refer to the design language and new Windows 8 interface as the "Windows 8-style UI" until a final name is decided upon. Tom Warren states the memo was sent out earlier this week, meaning news of the replacement term should come this weekend.

Despite using the word "Metro" to describe the design language since Windows Phone 7 was revealed in 2010, Microsoft decided to rebrand the design language as the result of "discussions with an important European partner," according to the leaked memo. A spokesman told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that the rebranding is not the result of any pending litigation and called the current term a "code name" even though Microsoft has promoted its usage since 2010.

Source: The Verge

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Sebastian Hoffmann said,
I am German: METRO AG is very well known here in the EU- I think its fair of Microsoft not using the name METRO

It doesn't matter whether it's used by others or not, really. METRO AG might be well known in the EU, but I'm sure many EU citizens can highlight a lot of other places where the term "metro" is used. If not, Wikipedia has a whole list of different "Metro" used around the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro

I'm pretty sure the word "windows" is also used in a lot of places - but Microsoft has been using it for years with no issue. Also, I eat an "apple" a day. The "Macintosh" was never disputed by any manufacturer making "Mackintosh(es)" - a type of raincoat. The various many subway operators have not sued the "Subway" restaurant either. I could go on and on, but my point is that names are being used everywhere. Metro AG certainly didn't invent the term "Metro". And usually issues only result if there is likely to be a cause for confusion - like perhaps two eateries selling sandwiches but have the same name. I don't think anyone would ever relate the "Metro UI" to Metro AG (which does not produce any software/user interfaces) or metro trains, or metrosexuals, etc.

Looking at the Wikipedia article, if Metro AG had any issues with other companies using the term "Metro", they'd probably have sued the Metro department store chain in Singapore, the Metro supermarket chain in Greece, the Metro supermarket chain in Indonesia, etc. which are far more closely related (same industry - retail) and thus more easily confused.

It just seems weird if they are really renaming Metro because of Metro AG.

My guess regarding the part about the discussion with European partners is that Metro might have a negative connotation in certain European countries, so the name isn't ideal. Something like why the HTC ChaCha was renamed the ChaChaCha in Spain.

"Metro! You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the inconsithtency, not promote it. You were to bring balance to the UI, not leave it in chaos."

LOL, pathetic.
They are going to call it Immersive Apps I presume.
I'm still gonna call it Metro though and it will stick to most devs I'm sure.

Probably a good idea given that they (IMO anyway) haven't followed the original Metro design language for some time now.

mandeepleo5 said,
But what's wrong with METRO? Hope they'll keep it simple.

I do like the "Metro" name, but one problem with it is that people are misusing it to refer to a particular element of Windows 8, namely the Start Screen. Comments like "Can we disable Metro in Windows 8" show that they have misunderstood what Metro is. Metro is a design language - a whole way of thinking and designing interfaces - that has been behind many things including the Start Screen, but by no means limited to it. "Metro" sounds like a thing that can be separated from "Windows" because it's a completely different name. But it isn't. The slightly clunky temporary name "Windows 8-style UI" at least calls it what it is: something that is now intrinsic to the new Windows, not bolted onto it. Maybe eventually people will stop referring to "Metro" and "Windows" as two separate things.

Windows Nashville said,
It will be called "Flat GUI Language", or FUGLY for short.

FGUIL .... yeah I think you need to rethink that one.

i think it is nearly impossible to buy the name METRO- Metro AG of Germany the biggest player in EU for delivering goods of many types.....btw. I am German: METRO AG is very well known here in the EU- I think its fair of Microsoft not using the name METRO

wolftail said,
They should just buy the Metro trademark. It's an awesome name to lose...

grayscale said,
Why this late? It has been Metro since WP7 and this is the only time they faced this problem?

I think because Metro has gotten such negative feedback the name is sort of tarnished now. I'm not sure how they think changing the name will help though, the people who hate Metro are still going to hate it no matter what they call it.

Xenon said,
They w ill probably rename it something like "The Windows 8 Tile User Interface Experience"

Oh dear, a part of me is afraid you are right! But of late Microsoft does seem to have kicked the habit of using those awful long names it was prone to in the past...

Timble said,

Oh dear, a part of me is afraid you are right! But of late Microsoft does seem to have kicked the habit of using those awful long names it was prone to in the past...

Any specific examples "of late"?

I never liked the name (but then I don't like the style it represents either so I might be biased)

Seems like damage control because of all the negative press Metro has received. Although I still think they should keep they name since there's already so much awareness both positive and negative.

While there is probably no pending litigation, I assume an attempt to prevent future litigation also exist. But it kinda tiring, all these rebranding. No, it's not Wallet, it's Passport, except it's now .NET Passport even though most .NET apps don't even use it. But look, it's now Live ID. Except it' now Microsoft Account. And there is also It's-Not-Ribbon-It-Is-Fluent-UI-Which-Is-Also-Not-Related-To-Fluent-Syntax-For-LINQ

article
Despite using the word "Metro" to describe the design language since Windows Phone 7 was revealed in 2010,

Wasn't Zune the one to introduce it?

Jose_49 said,

Wasn't Zune the one to introduce it?

I couldn't find anything where they publicly called it "Metro" before Windows Phone 7 and don't remember them calling it Metro publicly before that. I think there were some leaks that called it that, however.

Anthony Tosie said,

I couldn't find anything where they publicly called it "Metro" before Windows Phone 7 and don't remember them calling it Metro publicly before that. I think there were some leaks that called it that, however.

Hmmm, and I remember that people would always post home Metro came to be from Zune... If it is not "metro" then what is it?

Jose_49 said,

Hmmm, and I remember that people would always post home Metro came to be from Zune... If it is not "metro" then what is it?

I didn't say Zune wasn't Metro, I said Microsoft used the term "Metro" since 2010, since we're just referring to the terminology and not the language itself. Although Microsoft did refine the design to what we now know it as when they hired a designer from Nike to work on Windows Phone 7 (the designer's name escapes me at the moment).

Jose_49 said,

Wasn't Zune the one to introduce it?

It was I believe, but they started with Windows Media Center to make a Metro UI design language.

I'm wondering if that was on schedule or if Microsoft forced to move away from the Metro branding do to a copyright issues.

nMIK-3 said,
I'm wondering if that was on schedule or if Microsoft forced to move away from the Metro branding do to a copyright issues.

Guess you skipped a part


A spokesman told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that the rebranding is not the result of any pending litigation

nMIK-3 said,
I'm wondering if that was on schedule or if Microsoft forced to move away from the Metro branding do to a copyright issues.

A German partner (Metro AG) got angry.

nMIK-3 said,
I'm wondering if that was on schedule or if Microsoft forced to move away from the Metro branding do to a copyright issues.

I don't think this is a copyright problem. A look in the english wikipedia show me more than 50 companies with the name "Metro". (The german Metro AG is only one of the list, there are more known companies)

Let us pray they don't decide on "Windows 8-style UI" as the final name. Too long. So, what is now wrong with METRO? It's fast and fluid. And authentic. Clean, modern, smooth and silky. But not glossy; that's Aero.

devHead said,
Let us pray they don't decide on "Windows 8-style UI" as the final name. Too long.

Just be thankful it's not Microsoft Windows 8-style UI. Anyway it's not really a name. It would be like renaming ambulance to "Medical emergency rescue vehicle"

thenonhacker said,

- Fluid (one of the traits of Metro, emphasis on animation and performance)

Well, Office has a "Fluent" UI, after all ...