Microsoft to use 'Windows 8' as replacement for 'Metro' branding

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Last week we learned through a leaked internal memo that Microsoft would be doing away with the Metro branding to describe the user interface in Windows 8. It is believed that Microsoft would face copyright infringement issues from German retailer Metro AG over the use of that word and according to the memo, employees were told to reference the interface as the Windows 8 style UI.

According to unnamed sources as reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft will simply use “Windows 8” as the branding for everything that was once known as Metro. For example, “Metro-style applications” will now be called “Windows 8 applications,” and the “Metro user interface” will be called the “Windows 8 user interface.” It’s a subtle naming scheme but one that could further help to build the Windows 8 brand as a whole.

To further lend credit to her source, Foley highlights the fact that Lenovo’s product page for the recently announced ThinkPad Tablet 2 uses the phrase “Desktop and Windows 8 Apps.”  Based on this, it’s safe to assume that mobile apps will be known as Windows 8 Apps and traditional desktop applications will simply be Desktop Apps.

Furthermore, the same naming convention will reportedly carry over to Windows Phone, meaning the Metro interface will now be known as the “Windows 8 interface” on Windows Phone devices.

As Foley points out, it’s a bit surprising that Microsoft wasn’t able to or wasn’t willing to try to come to an agreement with Metro AG to use the word. After all, the Metro UI name has become synonymous with Windows 8 leading up to its launch later this year.

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