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Does a UI by any other name smell as sweet?

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is reportedly preparing a major change in terms of branding, scrapping the codename "Metro", which was previous used to refer to the user interface text/geometry/color style found in Windows 8, Windows Phone, and certain company websites.

A leaked internal company memo mentions the decision being made after "discussions with an important European partner".  One leading hypothesis is that German retailer Metro AG (ETR:MEO), which appears to control the EU trademark on the word "Metro", threatened to sue.

Microsoft may be cautious about generating any more ill will in the European Union, a region that has already relished lashing it with fines, and which is currently considering new fines related to browsers in Windows 8.

Regardless, Microsoft advises employees to "discontinue the use".  As a stop-gap, the interface that shall not be named by its former name shall be called "Windows 8 style UI", according to Microsoft, until a more permanent name is decided upon.  

The decision on the more catchy new name should come "by the end of this week", hopefully with a bit more trademark research this time around.

Metro store
Metro is one of Germany's largest retailers.

The good news for Microsoft is that given the mixed press Windows 8's Metro makeover has received, changing the name may actually reduce public awareness of some of the harsher criticism of Windows 8, which largely comes from power-users and is of questionable applicability to the average non-enthusiast/non-power-user.

Sources: The Verge, ZDNet





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