Feeds

Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

Sadly, just the name. Someone else says they own it

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Microsoft has dropped "Metro", the name given to the squaretastic user interface for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, claiming it was just a code name all along.

Litigation, though, may be the real reason as it seems the word may be owned by a European company or individual that objected to its use.

The change comes late in the day for Microsoft: just this week the software giant gave the final build of its Windows 8 operating system to computer manufacturers so it can be installed on new machines. Third-party developers are due to get the release version on 15 August, and Windows 8 PCs tablets are due to go on sale on 26 October.

A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed the switch to The Reg. In a statement the company said: “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.”

Microsoft watchers Mary Jo Foley and Tom Warren took issue with the “it’s just a code name” defence, arguing that litigation over ownership of the Metro name could be the real reason, and that Microsoft executives are racking their brains for a new word to sum up the controversial user interface.

Warren said the change came into effect following discussions between Microsoft and an “important European partner”. He claims to have seen a memo on the subject and said Redmond is "working on a replacement term … and plans to land on that by the end of this week".

In the meantime, employees have been told to immediately stop using “Metro” on Windows 8 and other Microsoft products – including Windows Phone, Office 2013 and all related apps, market places and web sites. Instead, they must use the typically Microsoft (read, boring and literal) tagline “Windows 8 style UI”.

It’s true code names can and do change as their products approach their shipping deadlines, but it’s not always the case. Silverlight, Microsoft’s one-time Flash killer wannabe, still retains its name from its development days.

If a legal challenge is the problem, this would not be first time Microsoft’s been tripped up. In 2002 Microsoft used the name Palladium for its chip-based PC security system, which was intended to crack down on software piracy and stop the spread of computer worms and viruses. A year later, the Palladium name was dropped in the face of a legal battle with another company. Microsoft plumped for the more Microsoftesque Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSB). That technology hasn’t been heard of much since. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.