updated 08:50 pm EDT, Thu August 2, 2012
Transition to shipping product heralds new branding
Despite inclusion of the phrase in Windows 8 and Windows Phone marketing, Microsoft is notifying developers that use of the word "Metro" as part of an application name or in documentation of its forthcoming new Windows user interface should be avoided. Microsoft is encouraging the use of the phrase "New User Interface" to describe the new unified tiled design seen across the Microsoft product line.
One anonymous source told The Verge that the change could be related to a looming legal dispute between Microsoft and another unnamed company over the use of the "Metro" name. Microsoft has confirmed that the branding is changing on the user interface, saying "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."
Trends that are said to have influenced Windows 8 and its Metro interface include constant Internet connections, cloud storage availability, mobile computing becoming more of a focus, and an aim to make the user central to the experience by being more socially aware. The new operating system was officially released to manufacturing on August 1. Starting August 15, developers will be able to download the final version of the operating system through MSDN. IT professionals testing the software will be able to update to the final version through TechNet. Volume license customers will be able to purchase Windows 8 through authorized Microsoft volume license resellers. [via The Verge]