A Metro interface by any other name is still a Metro interface, but it would be nice if Microsoft would clue us in on what to call it now. The Redmond company unceremoniously dumped the Metro branding a week ago after alleged European trademark woes, leaving nothing but naming confusion behind in its wake. Yesterday, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley suggested that rather than shining a spotlight on the interface, Microsoft would just call Metro apps… Windows 8 apps.
Today, however, The Verge disagreed. Citing an MSDN blog posts and several upcoming event listings, the website suggests that the term “Metro style” has been replaced by “Modern UI” at Microsoft, complete with an upper-case “M” in “Modern.”
In the internal memo that told Microsoft employees to stop using the Metro name, the company promised to have a new moniker in place by the end of last week, but no official replacement has been announced.
What’s in a name? It depends on how you look at it. On one hand, it’s likely that few people outside of the hardcore could tell you that the UI in Windows 7 and Vista is called Aero, but on the other hand, having a unified name for the interface could be a branding boon as Microsoft rolls the tile structure out across its core products. Windows 8, the Xbox 360 and Windows Phones all use a similar tiled interface — we just don’t have anything to officially call it. Why not stick to Live Tiles?