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“Metro UI” Renamed

Metro UI renamed. Microsoft has decided to discard the existing Metro UI brand name.

Microsoft has decided to discard the existing “Metro UI” brand name. The decision has come amidst claims that “Metro” was just a code name for developing the tile-based user interface and that it was never meant for post launch use.

Whatever be the reason behind it, but the Redmond based Microsoft’s decision to scrap the brand “Metro” is almost sure to send shockwaves through the technological world as many applications have “Metro” incorporated into their name. Apps having some or the other form of “Metro” branding incorporated into their names have been asked to rename, rendering the loss of brand value that would have built up over these years.

Further, the change of name which comes merely weeks before the launch of Windows 8 will have unknown repercussions in the tech world. Promoting the product under the new UI name will take effort as most users would fail to recognize the new name.

Microsoft may be the giant in the world of technology, but in the realms of legal sanctity, it is apparently helpless. The decision to scrap with the widespread “Metro UI” may have come due to the fear of legal suit by German retail outlet which goes by the name “Metro AG”. The Redmond based company claims to have never wanted to promote the tile user interface as “Metro UI”, but since its appearance five years ago, Microsoft did little to stall the promotion of the name.

With “Metro” forced to go, Microsoft had the task of finding a suitable name. It seems that they didn’t work too hard on this. The alternative names that have come up seem to lack the creativity and the refreshing catch of its predecessor. Given a company of Microsoft’s stature, the utter lack of creativity in finding a fitting name seems sad. Though initial reports claimed “Modern” would substitute “Metro”, the company recently stated that “Metro UI” would be now known as “Windows 8 UI”. Though somewhat better than the unoriginal “Modern”, “Windows 8 UI” still falls behind Metro in catching the users’ imagination. Microsoft, no doubt could have done a better job at naming.

One way to bypass this rename could have been by compensating the German side in exchange for retaining the name. But that did not happen. Instead they came out with a new name. We still have to wait to find out how this shuffling of names is taken by the world, there can be little doubt that it has left us with a sense of loss.

Since Zune HD five years ago, “Metro” has been used almost extensively to refer to this touch based UI. Now a sudden switch to “Windows 8 UI” will take its time in gaining acceptance among users. Whatever be the name, the vivid world of this path breaking interface will remain amalgamated with our world that is just beyond the screen of our computers.

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