Rumor: Microsoft’s “Metro” Design Language May Be Renamed “Windows 8″

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Metro is so last week. Microsoft has reportedly ditched the hip moniker for its design language for something a bit more pedestrian: Windows 8.

Previously, the name Metro was part of the design mantra that started with Windows Phone 7 and has since trickled into Windows and Xbox. As Microsoft once put it, “We call it Metro because it’s modern and clean. It’s fast and in motion. It’s about content and typography. And it’s entirely authentic.” Well, forgot that nonsense. The Metro branding is out and Windows 8 is in.

Officially, the story goes that Microsoft was looking to “transition from industry dialog (e.g. Metro) to a broad consumer dialog.” However it seems that German retailer Metro AG could have been threatening legal actions over the branding.

But the new branding could bring additional confusion. Prior to the change, applications for the tiled Windows interface, Metro, were known as Metro-style applications. Those applications are now known as Windows 8 applications. Plus, the Metro environment is now called Windows 8 user interface. So… apps designed for the new interface are called Windows 8 applications and applications coded for the original, so-called, classic interface, will be called Windows applications. Awesome.

This new branding apparently also trickles down to Windows Phone where its trademarked tiled interface will also be named Windows 8 interface.

Outside of the possible branding confusion the new name removes any segregation between Windows 8′s two desktop environments. For better or worse, Windows 8 is now just Windows 8.