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Microsoft Settles on Non-Metro Name for UI: Windows 8

The UI formerly known as "Metro" will now simply be called "Windows 8" despite the latter name already being taken by the OS itself. But alas Microsoft has that right, and plans to officially move forward without ever mentioning the word "Metro" again.

According to a source whispering to ZDNet, anything currently and formerly known as a "Metro-Style application" will now be officially labeled as "Windows 8 application." Anything referenced as "Metro user interface" will now be called "Windows 8 user interface." The "Metro design" term developers liked to toss around, describing that blocky, tiled look, now must be described as "Windows 8 design."

One indication that manufacturers have received the official Redmond word seems to center around Lenovo's recent Windows 8 tablet announcement. The promo page reads "Desktop and Windows 8 Apps" whereas it's presumed the old-fashioned method would have read "Desktop and Metro-Style Apps." Yawn.

Last week there was an assumption that Microsoft had to cease using the "Metro" term because of possible legal threats being made by European partner Metro Group. While it's entirely possible, Microsoft has officially stated that the change in description has nothing to do with any current litigation with anyone.

"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," a spokesperson said.

The blocky "Metro" interface, sporting bold Segoe-font typographic elements, first appeared years ago in Windows Media Center and Zune. The terminology has seemingly been a part of Microsoft's vocabulary ever since, describing interfaces splashed across Windows Phone 7, the new Xbox 360 dashboard, and the upcoming Windows 8 OS. Heck, we'll probably still call it Metro for years to come because we like the way it rolls off our tongue.

That said, maybe Microsoft should have a contest to officially name its new UI, something cooler than Windows 8?

UPDATE: Nope. Microsoft's World Wide Events calendar is currently using the "Modern UI" description on the Windows 8 Public Sector 1 Day DevCamp Series listing. Looks like Metro has officially gone Modern... maybe.

"Windows 8 is Windows re-imagined. Join this session to learn about the new platform for building Modern UI-style applications," reads one of many descriptions of Microsoft's edgy new UI.

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