Microsoft to deprecate ‘Metro’ label

Metro. Over the years, that innocuous word has come to represent Microsoft’s new visual identity—the flat colored rectangles, the clean typography, and the heavy emphasis on consistent, streamlined design. Metro has become shorthand for a bold, new chapter in Microsoft’s history. It’s become synonymous with the company’s metamorphosis from slumbering giant into ambitious underdog.

And now, Microsoft is about to deprecate it.

The Verge reports that Microsoft has advised Windows 8 and Windows Phone app developers not to use the term “Metro” to refer to the new design language. ZDNet has posted a similar story, noting that Microsoft is seeking to curb internal use of the term, as well. When asked to comment, Microsoft provided the same statement to both sites:

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.

The Verge says one of its sources suspects a copyright dispute between Microsoft and Metro AG could be at play. Metro AG is a German retailer with stores throughout Europe, Russia, India, and China. Wikipedia says it’s the world’s fifth-largest retailer by revenue behind Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco, and Kroger—no small fish, in other words.

ZDNet had a similar hunch, but it was told by a Microsoft spokesperson that the branding change “is not related to any litigation.” The same spokesperson declined to comment when asked if the move was due to “any kind of copyright dispute that hasn’t yet gone to litigation,” however, so the statement hardly proves anything.

Another possibility, as ZDNet points out, is that Microsoft seeks to avoid confusing users. It’s true that Metro refers neither to a particular technology nor to a given platform, so it doesn’t tell users anything particularly useful about what they’re buying. I don’t think Metro was ever really front and center on Microsoft product pages, though.

Comments closed
    • fredsnotdead
    • 7 years ago

    Now, it’s the project that must not be named.

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    The Partridge Tablet UI?

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    “Metro to deprecate Microsoft label.”

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]"Metro to deprec[b<][i<]i[/i<][/b<]ate Microsoft label"[/quote<] Added an "i" to FTFY.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 7 years ago

    Oh, goody. I can’t wait to see what the focus groups have told Microsoft to name it.

    • tanker27
    • 7 years ago

    They should just call it Microsoft Bob just because it’s going to fail just as spectacularly.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft depreciated the Zune branding for the last year because it was the first place where Metro showed up. It also happened to fail in both Zune incarnations. Therefore, now they want Windows 8 to use Metro effectively, so they don’t want you remembering that Metro was connected to at least three devices that tanked in rather spectacular fashion (Zune, Zune HD, and Windows Phone 7).

    Thus, they depreciated Zune. Now they’re depreciating the Metro name for the same reason. Do a google search for Metro and I’m sure you’ll wind up with entries about the failures that were the prior devices, most especially Windows Phone 7. They don’t want you pulling that up when looking up info on Windows 8.

    Therefore, they want Windows 8’s interface to be distinct from Metro so you don’t go in with prior hatred (aka The Windows Vista Effect).

    Too late, too bad, so sad.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      Nice.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    How about the “touch oriented interface” or TOI? It is pronounced like toy so it sounds like fun and not torture.

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    Theyll probably call it now “The Masked Metro”.

    • Tristan
    • 7 years ago

    The right name is $tink

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Dollar-tink?

        • Grigory
        • 7 years ago

        You know: [url<]http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/07/22/[/url<]

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    Or MS reads the forums and knows a lot of us hate the Metro interface.So they are removing all trace of the name to blunt the bad PR as much as possible.

      • shaurz
      • 7 years ago

      Exactly my thoughts too. Attempt to jettison the negative associations.

      • Shouefref
      • 7 years ago

      That’s why they’ll call it “The Masked Metro”.
      And that’s what it will be.
      They’re lurring us.

      • Spunjji
      • 7 years ago

      That’s a staggering sense of self-importance you have on display there, by assuming both that they care about what you think and that the majority of consumers think like you.

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        No, jdaven might be right. MS wants to stress Metro less, not do away with it. Yes, it looks like a reaction to the negative reactions we found on numerous forums.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    I misread this title as “Microsoft to defecate Metro”

      • designerfx
      • 7 years ago

      They already did that. it’s called windows 8.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      +1

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    Silly Microsoft, there’s no deleting anything from the internet.

    On a separate note, I actually liked Metro. Not W8 in particular, but the design style as a whole in a number of MS products.

    • Grigory
    • 7 years ago

    Sorry!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      That “joke” was never funny and your insistence on repeating it doesn’t make up for it…

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        I have no idea what either of you are talking about.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          dont’ worry about it.

    • fantastic
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft to decapitate ‘Metro’ with ladle? Awesome! Can we watch?

    What?

    • McRuff
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft to deprecate ‘Metro’ label.

    Never has there been a truer headline. That is probably what was concerning Metro AG. They were worried about being tarred with the same brush and needing a whole new brand name after Windows 8 launches.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Sounds like a lost cross-marketing opportunity to me. Lots of colored blocks arranged in an irregular grid, so pick the ones you want and be sure to stop by the cash register on your way out.

    • Jakubgt
    • 7 years ago

    Why don’t they just call it Windows 7 Tablet edition?

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Because it isn’t a Windows 7 Tablet edition. I wish it was!

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Because they’re forcing this tablet UI upon desktop users as well and hiding their traditional desktop as an option disabled by default

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    They should call it “bricks for windows” since it fits multiple ways.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      What about “Tablet Tiles” or something?

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        When was the last time you hurled a tablet tile through a window?

          • Duck
          • 7 years ago

          Never?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          When’s the last time you did the same with a brick?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            TODAY. HE’S HARD. HE’S STREET HARD.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Don’t talk about your boner, please.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            don’t be jealous of my youthful abilities, old man.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Are they induced by a piece of software or software talk? Nothing to be envious of, really.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            they’re induced by [s<] neely MMO meadows deanjo l33t [/s<] ladies.

      • Noigel
      • 7 years ago

      Panes, maybe? Windows Panes?

        • bobboobles
        • 7 years ago

        Window Pains

        • mutarasector
        • 7 years ago

        Walls? In which the Surface may just be yet another brick in addition to Zune, ZuneHD, and WP7….

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Windows Fisher Price

    • Visigoth
    • 7 years ago

    Doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s still a steaming pile of crap.

      • jtennison
      • 7 years ago

      Therefore the name “Stunning Highly Interactive Technology” might be appropriate. The acronym would get them plenty of free publicity!

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Hrm… deprecating the name before the product it is attached to even launches.

    Maybe the replacement for Metro should be Microsoft DOA.

    • JohnC
    • 7 years ago

    Awww… no more “metrosexual” jokes? 🙁

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    The new official name is Mojave.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 7 years ago

      Because consumers are going to desert it? 🙂

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I thought it was funny.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        I thought it was real.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Mojave is what they were calling Windows Vista when they were trying to salvage the name. l33t-g4m3r’s joke actually works if you hate Win8.

          [url<]http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2008/07/microsoft-launches-windows-mojave-website/[/url<]

            • Sahrin
            • 7 years ago

            …Mojave was a practical joke Microsoft played on Vista haters. Whatever they come up with as the ‘new name’ for Metro will be the same.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        I thought it wasn’t. The guy’s been clinging to the transient “mojave experiment” for years now. Psychological issues may be behind his inability to let things go.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t like it because instead of fixing the problems inherent in the OS, they decided to go with the brainwashing and propaganda route, and in fact they still are on that path.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            So marketing is ‘brainwashing and propaganda’ now? Are the chemtrails extra thick over your house today?

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