Microsoft pulls Metro moniker after trademark dispute

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Microsoft pulls Metro moniker after trademark dispute

It's a core part of Windows 8, but you mightn't be hearing a lot more about Metro in the future. Read why.

Microsoft has urged third-party Windows 8 developers to remove all mentions of the word 'Metro' from applications and related material after a German retailer threatened to sue.

The moniker, used to identify the new tile-based user interface in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7, has been used in marketing and other material for some time.

However, it could potentially conflict with the Germany-based company, Metro AG, which has threatened legal action over the issue.

A quick check by our sister site iTnews shows that Metro is still widely used across Microsoft websites as well as partner and developer sites.

In emails to developers — including one sighted by iTnews — Microsoft prompted developers to replace mentions of 'Metro' with 'Windows 8-style UI' for Windows 8 applications, and 'New User Interface' when referring to the company's entire product line.

It is unclear how much of the naming could be removed from websites and marketing material ahead of the operating system's first launch to developers later this month.

It is set to be released to enterprises from September 1, and will be generally available on October 26.

New Zealand development house Marker Metro, styled itself as the world's first specialising in Windows 8-style interface apps, was one company affected by the late name change.

"Yes, we're very disappointed," practice lead Ben Gracewood told iTnews.

"Just when we were seeing some traction and understanding from the general public about what 'Metro' means, we get the rug pulled out.

"We hope that at the very least Microsoft comes up with a more concise description for 'apps specifically designed for Windows 8'. Perhaps 'Voldemort'? The UI design style that must not be named?"

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