May we have a moment of glancing and going, please?
Today is a sad day for fans of Metro, the design language-turned-mantra that has led to a decade in the making upheaval at the Microsoft. While the look and feel of the new wave of Windows products won't be going away anytime soon, it's the 'Metro' name itself that's been carved a fresh tombstone.
Mary Jo Foley of All About Microsoft reported last night about a sudden shift in the language her contacts at Microsoft were using, who said that the company was actively trying to tone down the use of the word Metro, on and off the record. Rumors sprung that Metro AG, the massive German retailer, was threatening a legal dispute against Microsoft for use of the term. According to the response from a PR rep however, dropping the name isn't related to any legal troubles:
“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.”
Shortly after, The Verge's Tom Warren received a copy of the internal memo Microsoft published within the walls of the company which say otherwise. There was apparently conflict with an "important European partner" that has fueled the decision to move away from Metro. In its stead, Microsoft's gurus are said to be working on a replacement term that should be finalized before the week's end (so, by today?). In the meantime, the stopgap term is "Windows 8-style UI", which is pretty darn awful.
It's extremely disheartening to see Metro abandoned after two years of persistent praise, and just before a pivotal holiday season for Microsoft. For us, Metro really is the heart and soul of Windows Phone, Windows 8, the Xbox 360, and now even Office 2013 and the new Outlook. For a trip down memory lane, we highly recommend you read this official piece about the origins of Metro and its philosophies from 2011.
Source: All About Microsoft, The Verge