For the last year and more, Microsoft has been eagerly promoting the 'Metro' design language. Metro this, Metro that, Metro everything.
It seems that this might not be staying the case for too long. Microsoft is trying to slow the usage of the term 'Metro', both internally to the company and outside it.
This could be an interesting change for the company, since they've spent so much time promoting the Metro name in many of their products, and products which previously didn't follow the guidelines have been changed to fit.
A Microsoft spokesperson delivered the following statement to Mary Jo Foley over on ZDNet:
“We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names.”
It's possible the company is stepping away from the term due to potential user confusion. You'll note that the spokesperson referred to Metro as a codename. For a codename they were pushing it pretty hard, but we're not going to question it, because we're an agreeable bunch.
The term has been in use by Microsoft for a number of years now, with some design elements of the Metro UI being possible to trace back as far as 1998. As screenshots from Windows 8 and other Metro things show, the design puts more emphasis on typography.
Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing, and it comes with plenty of little Metro tidbits. Could the company be quickly editing things to cull usage of the word? And if they are, why?
If it is the case then they have not made it clear to the general public. Perhaps they're going to redefine the term and focus it more on clear boundaries of what is and is not 'Metro'.