Microsoft Torpedoes Metro Branding in Windows 8, UI Stays the Same

Believe it or not, Microsoft is taking a shovel to Metro, with plans to whack it over the head and then then bury it in the desert. How can that be with just a two months to go before Windows 8 reaches general availability, and with the RTM (Release to Manufacturers) now out in the wild? It's simple -- Microsoft is scrapping the Metro name, not the user interface. You can almost hear the 'Aw, shucks!' emanating from Valve and Blizzard.

According to various reports, the name change may have something to do with overseas copyright concerns. In a statement to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson was a bit cagey regarding the reason, saying only "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."

Windows 8 Start Screen
No longer branded as the Metro UI, Microsoft employees have been told to call the touch-friendly interface the "Windows 8 style UI" until the marketing team can think of something better.

So apparently Metro was just a code name all along. According to a supposed internal memo, Microsoft's Windows team is currently trying to come up with a replacement brand "and plans to land on that by the end of this week," which would be today or tomorrow. In the meantime, employees have been instructed to refer to the interface as the Windows 8 style UI.