It looks like Facebook isn’t the only company that is having a rough week. While not an issue with financials or losing talent Microsoft has had to make a couple changes to avoid legal problems. Microsoft has been touting their new tiled interface to their operating system’s interface known as Metro all year.
Metro is the future that Microsoft has been gambling on for changing the playing field. It is set to tie all of their devices together: mobile, tablets, gaming, PC’s, Office, etc. Today though Microsoft has announced that Metro is no more! No more in name at least, it looks as if one of Microsoft’s partners were not happy with the name that’s been being used for the past year and it’s time for them to change that or deal with legal ramifications.
According to an internal Microsoft memo that was circulated today it looks as if “discussions with an important European partner” have lead to the decision by Microsoft to “discontinue the use” of the Metro branding that has been being used by Microsoft immediately. Also in the memo was word that the team is “working on a replacement term and plans to land on that by the end of this week.” So with Metro out and no name in site quite yet Microsoft employees are to refer to it as “Windows 8 style UI” for the time being until the new name name for their vision has been created (and checked for trademark issues.) This is a real shame as they’ve used it so often that the Metro idea of its beautifully put together and effective typography-based design language has become ingrained in the minds of anyone who has used it extensively.
Still a name change does not signify a change in their goals or look of the new interface. So while the name may be changed the look and feel that is going to change the face of computing over the next year itself will not be subject to interface changes. If anything this is more of an annoyance to Microsoft that the term they have made popular to describe the new look of their Operating System can no longer be used. I really have to feel bad for the company for a change. What they’ve created is an almost revolutionary new interface to their operating system that will now truly span multiple product types and allow a personalized login across installs that has never been done before. Dealing with hiccups like this are minor in the grand scheme of things but irritating nonetheless and shouldn’t be something that delays progress on something that is actually quite a milestone for both the company and computing in general. The innovations Microsoft is including in the cross platform portion and tying in the idea of a universal login are what both Apple and Google are slowly working towards and Microsoft is going to be beating them both to having it included into the Operating System itself that spans across all of their product lines. It’s impressive to say the least when Microsoft has been thought to be in reactive mode for so long and not proactive.
So which European software company is rumored to be the one who who has decided to stir up a name change over a trademark issue? Well that’s still unknown though the rumor is that it is Metro AG. Metro AG is a German company who holds the name Metro in their country. Metro AG has refused to comment on rumors and Microsoft officials have only said “We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names.”
Related Link: The Verge