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Microsoft realizes Windows 8 UI is silly, starts referring to it as Modern UI

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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Microsoft realizes Windows 8 UI is silly, starts referring to it as Modern UI
We'll just come right out and say it, Microsoft has some major issues with naming that it needs to sort out. First, the company decided to reuse the name of its tabletop touchscreen (only seen on network news) for its new line of tablets. Then, the company decided to ditch the Metro UI name, but in choosing a new term, the company forgot a very important thing: never use terms that will become easily dated. 

The first replacement name was "Windows 8 UI", which makes no sense for two reasons: 1) the UI was born in Windows Phone 7, not Windows 8, and 2) the term becomes extra useless when Windows 9 arrives. Unfortunately, the new name that Microsoft is using makes even less sense, because the company is using the term "Modern UI Style". Did no one at the company realize that it's terrible to use a term that changes its meaning faster than a rumor can spread about an Apple product? 

The word "modern" means something different in almost every context, and in every successive week. What is "modern" today can be old hat tomorrow. Luckily, this likely isn't the official replacement term, but we're not really sure why Microsoft can't just stick with "Metro". We think that's a great term, because it hits the two major naming conventions: 1) it's timeless, and 2) it's abstract enough to not really mean anything. 

That's exactly what you want when naming a product, just like Microsoft had with the "Aero interface", Google with the "Holo theme", or Apple with its "Aqua UI". All names that can't have vague connotations, but no connections to anything substantial, and certainly no overt references to time. Microsoft should be announcing the proper replacement term any day now, since it was supposed to have been done last week. 

  • Options

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:05 13

1. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

I'd like it if they sticked to Metro, because it reminds me of South Park. :P

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:07 4

2. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

On Engadget I read that Microsoft chose to go with Windows 8 simply

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 15:10

19. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

What about Windows Ease?

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:07 5

3. WinC76 (unregistered)

Well, this does sound a lot better. Windows 8 UI just sounded awful.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:09 4

4. alexandermatthews (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

I read somewhere the reason they are going away from Metro UI is because a company over in europe uses the name Metro and they were going to sue. It's a shame really because Metro is the perfect name for their UI. Considering they were going with Subway Metro tiles as the reference.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:04 2

8. chuckhriczko (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)

Yep. A German company by the name of Metro AG had Microsoft change it

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:16 14

5. Avinash.Meeniga (unregistered)

naming it " Live UI " would also be nice

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:13 5

10. Gawain (Posts: 426; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

That's a winner right there. I don't much worry about what they will call it. I don't care for Android OS much anymore, iOS is driving me crazy, and as much as I hope BB OS 10 is a hit, I suspect it will show failures in some other fashion that will grind me away. I've dabbled in WP7 before and am very excited about the WP8 changes...so here we go!

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 22:05

27. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)

Please tell me what is soo much more better about windows phones from an android phone? or even apple (other than apples price range) but still what is soo much more better about windows phones that would make you leave, and/or overlook these two?

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 18:11

25. pongkie (Posts: 656; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)

yeah it would make much more sense

posted on 11 Aug 2012, 02:12

31. jojobells (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)

I think Adobe has several of "Live" named products. ex: LiveCycle, LiveMotion, Flash Media Live Encoder...

That could be a problem for MS...

posted on 13 Aug 2012, 06:43

42. levvy (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)

Give thanks to God,you suggested a very nice name and the company is not the Apple. if it were Apple, then Apple would sue you for patent infringement as you used the ipatented term of them. Hell, you are lucky.LOL

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:41 2

6. djripster (Posts: 138; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)

Wonder if they will ditch Windows someday and call it XOS it goes in line with one of their most popular products, the XBox and Windows 10 is not too far around the corner..

:P But I am sure Apple will have something to say about the choice of using X and OS

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 14:34 3

17. chebner (Posts: 236; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

What? Does Apple own Roman numerals now too?

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 15:12

21. StreetNerd (Posts: 836; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


posted on 10 Aug 2012, 15:29

22. djripster (Posts: 138; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)

Well they appararently own the rectangular shape and the words app and store :)

Wouldn't mind owning an XPhone or an XSlate someday

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 11:47 5

7. cityeighteen (Posts: 40; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

Despite the official name change, I'm still going to call it Metro UI. I've been used to the term ever since I started using the Zune HD in 2009, and I just can't think of another term that makes sense to me.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 13:49

14. Glim12808 (Posts: 394; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Same here. Although I just started using WP only last December 2011, I am now so used to saying metro to describe the UI so I'll continue doing it. Let Metro AG sue me! Never thought i would but I have now come to love the metro UI by the way!

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:12 1

9. haseebzahid (Posts: 1853; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)

MS UI might be ok since it will stick to MS always :P

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:21 3

11. Hammerfest (Posts: 384; Member since: 12 May 2012)


Renamed it for ya MS old buddy old pal...

Been on since DOS, and used WM2002 all the way through WM6.5, when WP7 came out I tried it for a good month before jumping over to Android. The "metro" ui is just FUGLY and HINDERING if you truly multi-task and like to take control of your system and do things the way YOU want to.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 15:11 2

20. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Whether or not you like the design of Metro, saying that it hinders multitasking is just silly. The Windows Phone system has limitations on multitasking, Metro has nothing to do with it. If WP could truly multitask, Metro would be just as nice as Android 4.x for switching tasks.

posted on 12 Aug 2012, 05:40

40. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

lol... android can't "multitask" properly either. If you want "true multitasking" try Symbian, which in my opinion is the only platform that does it correctly.

I expect things will improve once Intel launches its next generation of 22nm SOC's. In theory a 64 bit X86 smartphone is not out of the question, however a lot of work would need to be done to make it a reality. Either way, android is toast over the coming years.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:24 2

12. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)

Live Tiles UI maybe?

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 13:57 1

15. Glim12808 (Posts: 394; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Although I like metro better, I'm not averse to calling it Live Tiles. I think it describes the beautiful UI very well. I have come to love this UI so much since I started using WP last December 2011.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 18:33

26. Jyakotu (Posts: 855; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

Live Tiles actually sounds perfect for the UI. Despite the press pictures of the WP7/8 UI, seeing them in person is WAY different. There's a lot of activity going on with the tiles themselves due to them updating and whatnot. Yeah, MS should definitely use Live Tiles for the UI name. I'm excited for Windows 8 and I'm definitely going to install it for my laptop.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 22:56

28. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)

floor tiles UI... but this is pathetic... microsoft is really bad at making names... metro UI sounds good but i really dont know why or what make them change the name...

but Live UI is wayyy better than Modern UI....

i like BlackBerry 10 UI..Flow UI...

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 12:30 1

13. Aeires (unregistered)

MS8. They are tying their ecosystem together across all their products, why not? They also have named each iteration of Windows.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 14:31

16. phitch (Posts: 214; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

I know what they should call it -- Windows useless front end ui! Because 99% of the programs are going to make you switch into desktop mode anyway.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 14:51

18. GoBears (Posts: 454; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

I like modern much better. Metro just reminds me of those skinny jean wearing pansies getting manicures at the beach haha.

posted on 10 Aug 2012, 15:32

23. djripster (Posts: 138; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)

If its going to be around for awhile just call it UIX

As in XBox

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