Just keep calling it Metro

I have been trying every which way to avoid calling the new Windows 8 user experience and applications by the code name Microsoft used, Metro.  But I’m giving up.  I mean “Windows Store Apps”, “Microsoft Design Language”, “New Windows Experience”, or whatever BS ways they’ve been coming up with to try to refer to this stuff just doesn’t cut it.  Sure they have some kind of trademark problem with the name Metro.  So why not come up with some catchy easy to use name to replace it?  Absent that I’m going back to using the name Metro.  It’s their trademark problem, not mine.

I’ve been through something like this before.  You know why DEC’s Alpha is named Alpha?  That was its code name.  It was totally untrademarkable.  DEC tried a couple of alternative names.  The first one they announced turned out to be pronounced a bit too close to the Arabic word for excrement.  One replacement got through a trademark search but, oops, actually turned out to be someone elses trademark.  There may have been other attempts, but meanwhile the entire world knew it as Alpha.  DEC finally tried to create a trademark by adding AXP to it, so Alpha AXP was the official name.  But the AXP disappeared.  Today anyone in the IT realm knows what Alpha is, and it doesn’t matter that you couldn’t trademark the name.  The Rdb group got a lot of shirts that year, because every time they changed the name of Alpha we had to reprint the shirts 🙂

So, I’m calling on press, analysts, bloggers, developers, end-users, and every other sane human being on the planet to just keep referring to the new Windows 8 stuff as Metro.  If Microsoft doesn’t like it they can give us a new catchy name that we might start using instead.  But if they keep insisting we stuff descriptive phrases into every place that demands a noun then we’ll just have to use a noun of our own choice.  And I choose Metro.


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28 Responses to Just keep calling it Metro

  1. I concur! Will go back to calling it Metro from now on.

  2. alexanderviken says:

    I concur! Will go back to calling it Metro from now on 🙂

  3. dafowler says:

    Usually when I talk about Metro its usually around the design aesthetics and language, if I’m talking about the new Windows apps I call them touch applications

  4. Robert Swift says:

    Metro for me!

  5. Yuri Sh says:

    Just did that yesterday! Wanned to explain something to a colleague, and then asked myself “how the hell am I calling this now?” and then it’s like “ah, the hell with them, it’s Metro”.
    Glad to hear it’s a trend 😉

  6. What I like about the name ‘Metro’, is that it really is a catchy name, and now it’s a name that everyone knows what you’re talking about too.

  7. conficient says:

    How about a versioning tweak.. Metro8 ?

    “Hey Bill can you Metro8 this interface?”
    “It’s not Metro8y enough”

  8. Metro, Grid, or Billboard for me I’m afraid, although there are three I use them interchangably, no trademark, no matter. “Metro”, “Grid” and especially “Billboard”, incredibly accurately describe what they have created, live tiles are no different to adverts, can you imagine having twelve of them all going off at once, the idea of grid design is not new, it is prominent throughout history and all I hope is that they can empower designers while offloading a bit from the developers as well. Currently it can take weeks to months to create a cross-platform stunning web-experience and if Metro or the grid or billboard is the way forward, so be it, whatever we chose to call it!

  9. Craig Davis says:

    I will call it…”Who Cares”!

  10. Bob - former DECie says:

    When I hear ‘Metro’ I think of a subway and I’ve never lived in/near a city that had a subway. How about AppsThatMakeNoSenseOnADesktop – ATMNSOAD 🙂 Tell me again why my entire desktop must disappear so I can see the current date and time.

  11. Stuart says:

    They should pre-pend a some other catchy, vague word to the front, like “Geo”. “Geo Metro”, that’s catchy! Too original?

  12. Jon says:

    I managed to successfully come up with all sorts of different names for Metro which reflected the way I feel about it, but use of said words tends to get my comments redacted because they breach community forum policy.

  13. phenry9999 says:

    I’m like you! I just can’t seem to shake the catchie name. This time around, the “codename” bait’n’switch ain’t working but causing more harm than good. Like you, I’ve been fighting to change how I reference it and losing. And like you, I find myself, more and more, going back to “just calling it Metro.” The lawyers and MS can figure it out themselves for the boardroom, around the coffee machine, the devs rule!

  14. Alex says:

    I’ve seen many people call it “IFKaM”, which is short for “Interface Formerly Known as Metro”, but you’re totally right, Microsoft seems a bit swamped with all the press and stuff they get with the Win8 launch so close by 😛

  15. smallmountain says:

    Have you been reading my comments on ZDNet? This is pretty much what I’ve been saying. Windows Store app, Modern app, stupid. It’s Metro. Get over it.

  16. Peter Wooster says:

    They could call it MetroFlexible, the .com is available, so it’s probably not trademarked.

    • Luc says:

      You are using the wrong assumtions… a lot of trademarks are not taken as a ( dot com) domain name. You need to look at the tradenames registers!

      And there you will fall on a lot of Metro-names and when they are in your scope (registred tradenames have a scope where they have been choosen to be in), you can be sure that the owners of *METRO* will block you out.

    • Luc says:

      A tradename search for Metro gives for me about 10 screens of registred tradenames (International, European and Benelux) with Metro in. I didn’ check them but I’m sure that some of them are using the “software” class!

  17. brian m says:

    A duck by any other name ….

  18. Luc says:

    You may name anything anyname (well nearly any… :-)) as long as you are not selling the product. So using “Metro” in your articles is OK, but using the code name in advertizing could be a deadly blow to your finances.

  19. Wolfgang says:

    I agree with Alex. Over at The Register they’ve been calling it “TIFKAM” – The Interface Formerly Known As Metro. Seems to roll off the tongue quite nicely.
    But talk about your monumental marketing screw-ups…

  20. Wasim Khan says:

    I think they should call it MICTRO rather the metro

  21. Bassam says:

    You are dam right Mr !!

  22. Ric says:

    It’s Windows 8 with Windows 8 apps

  23. Bob - former DECie says:

    I was surprised that DEC was able to get Rdb since it was such a great name. I guess it was early enough in the relational database wars that it was available. Prior to Rdb, I used DEC’s CODASYL, did I spell that correctly?, database for several years and I have no idea what it was called.

    I also remember the issues over VAX and the vacuum cleaner in the UK of the same name. I’m sure the IBM sales force had fun with that one.

  24. Fever says:

    Metro is a supermarket in Canada…. why do they care if people call it Metro anyway.. its more advetising for them

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