Services & Software

Metro apps renamed Windows Store apps

Microsoft has apparently decided on a new, if slightly less catchy, name for the apps formerly known as Metro.

screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

"Windows Store apps" doesn't exactly roll off your tongue. But that seems to be the new name for what were previously known as Metro apps.

At Microsoft's Build developers conference yesterday, Will Tschumy, one of the company's so-called user experience evangelists, led a session called "The Principles of Microsoft Design."

During Q&A, Tschumy was asked a question by the Verge's Tom Warren, namely: what do people call Windows 8 apps since Metro is persona non grata? Tschumy declined to comment on the whole Metro naming debacle but said that Microsoft is now using the term "Windows 8 Store apps."

A Microsoft spokeswoman told CNET today that Tschumy misspoke and that the term is simply "Windows Store apps."

Yesterday's Build conference wasn't the first mention of the new name. Last month, Soma Somasegar, Microsoft's corporate VP of the Developer Division, told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that Windows Store apps was the new name for Metro apps.

And what name should developers use for the Metro design language and style itself? Foley said on Monday that Microsoft is now using the term "Microsoft Design Language" instead of Metro.

Microsoft caught developers and Windows watchers off guard after it officially put the kibosh on the name Metro back in August. People working on apps, books, and other material were forced to remove the name "Metro" and replace it with the phrase "Windows 8 UI."

The company further clouded the issue when it couldn't get its story straight as to why Metro was suddenly off limits. Microsoft reps initially said that Metro was simply a code name and was never meant to be used permanently. But then word came out that it was apparently a legal issue as the name was already in use by a European company called Metro Group.

Since then, the term Modern has been used in some circles but hasn't really caught on, certainly not as an official name.

Of course, the average Windows 8 consumer doesn't care what you call the new interface and apps. They just want to know if Windows 8 is worth using.

But the name was a way for Microsoft to promote and market the new OS. In that vein, Metro had a certain style and simplicity. Windows Store apps? Not so much.

Update at 9:15 a.m. PT: A Microsoft representative states that the new name is actually "Windows Store apps."