You would think a company that considers itself good at marketing could at least name its products. There’s a new entry in the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Dumb. Windows 8 ‘Metro‘ apps will now be called Windows Store apps. Maybe.
In August, Microsoft made known that ‘Metro‘ was ‘only a code name’ for the new Windows 8 user interface (‘Metro UI’ or ‘Metro-style’ interface), apps (Metro apps) and the design language itself (Metro). Since then the term ‘Modern UI’ has been bandied about to describe the flattened, Fisher Price, pastel-coloured, Live Tiles interface and design.
Only that’s not the official new name either. Journalists, sources and Microsoft staff keep referring to Metro. Confusion reigns.
In an interview with Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division (business card the size of a desk) Soma Somasegar, indicated that Metro-style apps in Windows 8 will be called Windows Store apps. The interface will *not* be called Windows Store, or Metro UI or Modern UI.
However, ‘Live Tile’, ‘Modern-UI’, ‘Windows 8’ apps do not necessarily have to come from the store; you can side-load from other sources, suppliers or your own development environment. Nor will all the apps in the store be ‘Live Tile’, ‘Modern-UI’, ‘Windows 8’ apps, but conventional desktop applications sit there as well.
Everyone assumes that Microsoft dropped the Metro references owing to a massive trademark gaff concerning German company Metro AG; this has never been confirmed by Microsoft.
The key thing is that MS hasn’t officially christened the new Live Tile Style (my moniker), but conveniently, this naming would help push the Windows Store – aka ‘hoped-for-cash-cow’ – which is Microsoft’s answer to iTunes and the Apple store.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has already been renamed to Windows Phone Store, which suggests that Windows Phone apps will be called Windows Phone Store apps in the future.
Calling Redmond. How do you expect to sell this stuff if you can’t name it? AJS