Microsoft ran into a little problem last month when they realized that the Metro name was already owned by a store in Germany. The company had been using the Metro branding for over a year to sell Windows 8 and they were suddenly left without an identity. In the interim, Microsoft said developers should just call it the “Windows 8 style UI.” As of today, they have finally decided on a name.
Metro is now officially known as the Windows Store. The Register reports that S. Somasegar, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Developer Division, announced the change at the Visual Studio 2012 launch keynote. He said that developers and consumers alike are to start referring to all the apps on the Start Screen as Windows Store apps.
To be honest, it’s a much better name. It better reflects what the apps are being built for and tells consumers exactly where they are. Even if the Metro name were still around, consumers would still probably call them Windows Store apps or Windows 8 apps. This allows them to keep the Windows branding consistent across the entire UI.
That being said, it’s still a little disappointing. The Metro name seemed like a move in the right direction for Microsoft. They were making an entirely new OS that required new branding to appeal to more people beyond the regular enterprise folks who rely on Windows for work. It was a fun and modern name. The Windows Store name makes more sense, but it lacks the pizzazz that Metro had.
Some people are still going to call them Metro apps, while others are going to call them Windows Store apps. Most consumers, however, probably don’t care and are just going to call them apps.