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Microsoft drops the Metro Brand

on August 9, 2012

Microsoft is changing the use of its Metro design name to describe a tiled interface in Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Microsoft has started to notify its Windows developers that they should refrain from using the word “Metro” throughout their applications if they refer to the Windows Phone or Windows 8 interface. Instead, the company is advising developers to use “Windows 8 style UI” to describe Microsoft’s unified design.

A Microsoft internal memo seen by The Verge indicates a discussion with a European firm prompted Microsoft to stop using the Metro name for its tile-based UI. The other company is believed to be Metro AG, the German retail giant. Employees and developers have to adhere to the new Windows 8 style UI name immediately, the memo says.

Microsoft has used “Metro” to refer to the the new typography-centric, flatter, cleaner and more modern look and feel that is central to Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox Live, Office 2013, Visual Studio 2012 and other new and coming Microsoft products. Among the first Microsoft products to epitomize the Metro look and feel were Windows Media Center and Zune.

Around two weeks ago, where the press release announcing Office 2013 used the term “Windows 8 style applications for Office” instead of Metro, and Steve Ballmer mentioned the name change in his introduction.

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