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What do we call it?

Posted in Opinion

Windows 8 is having an identity crisis. Years into development and just weeks before the consumer release and Microsoft can’t figure out what to call its new style of apps. For the past year or so, “Metro style” was the term being used all over the Microsoft developer web site to represent the new tablet-friendly user interface. The term Metro style itself was confusing when they started using it because it came from the term that Microsoft had been using for Windows Phone 7 – “Metro” apps. Even though the Win 8 apps shared an obvious design format with Windows Phone, Microsoft apparently felt the need to add the “style” to differentiate tow two. Whatever, fine, then let’s go with that.

But, nooo. The kerfuffle with some department store chain in Europe forces Microsoft to abruptly, and not at all clearly, announce that Metro-style won’ be used any longer and it was never meant to be the permanent name. Yeah right.  As I mentioned above, that term was every where in the developer site. Even last week when I looked it was still Metro style. Today, however, I noticed that all my bookmarked pages now use the phrase “Windows Store Apps.” For some reason, Microsoft decided to exchange a term that expressed an aesthetic design POV and replace it with a plain, non descriptive label. That term is going to be really hard to get used to.

Related to that, I was at a local Windows developers group meeting in the Seattle area the other night. Several of the speakers were consultants working on projects for Microsoft. They carefully corrected themselves whenever they said Metro style and used the term “Modern”. Apparently, some entity in Microsoft has been pushing that terms. I didn’t have a chance to ask them where that came from. But if it is Modern, then the web site folks didn’t get the memo.




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