Microsoft abandons Metro name

Apparently due to a trademark clash
Darren Allan

August 6, 2012
Microsoft Logo

All we’ve heard from Redmond this year is Metro, Metro, Metro – the trendy user interface with a name inspired by “sophisticated” urban culture, or the Paris underground, perhaps.

So it came as a bit of a shock at the end of last week when Microsoft confirmed it was dropping the Metro name like a trendy hot brick.

Techworld notes that on Friday, the company sent out a statement to say: “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 dialogue to a broad consumer dialogue we will use our commercial names.”

So Metro was just a codename. A codename repeatedly used and mercilessly drummed into every consumer with an interest in technology’s head. So what’s the real reason the name has been dropped?

It would seem to be a rather unfortunate trademark issue.

Apparently an internal Microsoft memo, reportedly seen by the Verge, stated that the Redmond-based firm had to drop the name after dialogue with an “important” European partner.

Speculation is that this is a German company called Metro AG, a European retailing giant.

So the upcoming Windows release doesn’t have a Metro-style UI any more. It has a “Windows 8 style UI” (no something or other, Sherlock).

We disliked the term Metro when we first heard it from Microsoft, so we’re not exactly sobbing to see its departure – but then again, we had got very much used to it. As have many others, although they’ll soon have to get used to another moniker.

Any guesses as to what the new name for Microsoft’s user interface will be?

How about Tube? Or maybe not…

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