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back to article Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

After another long night at the whiteboard, the deep thinkers at Microsoft's marketing department have come up with a new replacement for the verboten word "Metro." From now on, it seems, the blocky, touch-centric user interface of Windows 8's new Start Menu will be known as the "Modern UI." Apps written to take advantage of the …

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Re: About as modern as an old Ford Poplar

Your entire post is bizarre to me as the Desktop with all its multi-windowing and capability is still there. You can flip between that and Metro with a single keypress. I do it all the time. And I can use a mouse with it just as I always have (though I actually have a trackball - makes no difference). Have you actually used Win8 for any length of time?

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Calling something "Modern"...

Certainly worked for Activision.

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Anonymous Coward

Eurasia?

We've always been at war with Eastasia.

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Patentable?

Patenting a descriptive term is pretty tricky - so I doubt it'll get anywhere.

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Don't forget that Microsoft comes up with new GUI toolkits about every 3 years. I would guess that Modern won't survive the test of time either, and after that the name will just sound silly.

I wonder why Microsoft let go of the Metro brand so quickly? They must surely realise that they can't brand their way to better usability, and while I'm at it, why not brand Windows Phone to something which doesn't sound like an uncool slow klunky desktop PC. Just saying.

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"Don't forget that Microsoft comes up with new GUI toolkits about every 3 years. I would guess that Modern won't survive the test of time either, and after that the name will just sound silly."

Because we all find the term 'Modern Art' so confusing after forty years of it. ;)

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Modern (moderne?)

...Because we all find the term 'Modern Art' so confusing after forty years of it. ;)

Good point. When I tell my friends I enjoy "modern jazz" I end up having to specify jazz created between circa 1948 (Miles Davis' first sessions for Capitol) and circa 1967 (death of John Coltrane).

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Devil

What does UI stand for ?

Unusable Interface.

I smell panic in MS headquarters, if it was meant to be called "Modern UI" they would never have waited so long to market the phrase/idiom. Someone in the marketing department is going to get their arse kicked and quite rightly so..

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Coat

Re: What does UI stand for ?

It was supposed to br ' MODEM UI'- it just took longer than usual to get to Beta...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What does UI stand for ?

If the recent Vanity Fair article is to be believed, Microsoft is currently split into two factions: the pro-Sinofsky faction and the anti-Sinofsky faction. The focal point of this internal corporate struggle lies in the success (or failure) of Windows 8, and consumers' response to the UI formerly known as Metro.

A house divided unto itself cannot stand. Microsoft should have been split up long ago, and let engineers, not managers, steer the company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What does UI stand for ?

Obviously you are quite correct.

To be fair to MS though (never thought I would say that) what could they call their new OS?

Pretty much every fecking word/phrase seems to be copyright/patented/whatever nowadays, and it wouldn't have really mattered what they decided on. Someone would have had a chance to sue them.

Bloody lawyers. Grrr. :)

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Coat

Playschool

Yesterday they went through the round window, today it's the square one. I look forward to the Arched one next week.

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N2

I couldnt care less

What its called, but I would rather daub dung on the wall with a stick than use what Windows has become.

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FAIL

Will they ever realize...

Their so called "Damage control process" (IMO that's what we're seeing here) only makes them look even more stupider.

Now, if this were the first time it happened I can live with it. But we've seen this several times already...

"Windows 8 will be easily usable with mouse and keyboard" (without showing), "Windows 8 is optimized for touch usage", "Windows 8 has always been best used with touch enabled interfaces" (not said directly but very well hinted at).

"Windows 8 has a much better Metro start screen", "Windows 8 uses Metro because the start screen was broken", "Windows 8 uses the Metro start screen because research indicated major issues with the start menu", "The start menu will never be used again".

"Developers will be better of with Windows 8 because of their choices", "Visual Studio 2012's interface won't use any distracting colours", "VS 2012 will bring back some of its colour", "VS 2012 Express will only be usable for Metro development", "VS 2010 will have a NEW MENU STRUCTURE MAKING IT MUCH EASIER ON YOUR EYES TO SEE. THIS MAKES IT BLEND IN WITH OUR REVOLUTIONARY METRO INTERFACE".

"Office 2013 will be a more mature Office", "Office 2013 won't make the webapps look and feel more like desktop apps, it will make the desktop apps look like webapps", "Office 2013 will be a Metro application", "Office 2013 will have a much better 2D interface", "Office 2013 will have a MUCH NICER AND EASIER ON THE EYES MENU SECTION, WE HAVE EXTENDED THE RIBBON WITH EASIER TO READ RIBBON SECTION NAMES".

Of course the thousands (literally) of protests which can be read on the official MS blog pages are obviously from people who "simply don't recognize a revolutionary new environment" yet. OR, in the case of Visual Studio 2012, these are developers who are simply glad (and say so!) that the damage to the interface "has been 'relatively' minor and corrected". And state that MS has started "coming back on their first ideas" ("One idea down, several to go...").

How absurd is it that your own users are actually going besides themselves to stop you from releasing something which anyone in their right mind (any real /developer/ that is) would immediately cast aside as being unusable ?

But that is the "Windows 8 soap" which is involving around Microsoft.

I'm just glad that I stepped onto the Win7 bandwagon "on time" and have everything I need (Win7 pro, Office 2010 pro, VS 2010 Express versions (VB, C# & Web) and some other desktop stuff) which will easily last me until 2018.

By that time I hope MS has come back to their senses somewhat. As they did with Win7 vs. Vista.

IF NOT.... Then its easy; I'll pick up my current desktop environment and virtualize it. Then I'll simply use both Win7 & WinXP virtually and directly from within Linux. I've done this before, I can go there again if need be.

Unsupported and unmaintained software by then, but within a virtual environment while making sure I can roll back to a clean snapshot anytime I need to... I don't think I'll be taking much risks.

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Headmaster

more stupider

I'm with stupid(er).

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Big Brother

"Engaging Citizens with Engaging Design"

Move along citizen. There's nothing useful for you here.

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Re: "Engaging Citizens with Engaging Design"

"How many fingers are on this hand of marketing?"

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FAIL

It isn't even funny anymore

It was kind of amusing at first, watch Microsoft stumbling about trying to find a replacement name, all the while trying (and pathetically failing) to make it look like it was all part of the plan. But now it's getting kind of depressing, seeing how a grown-up company who should know better cannot come up with a good moniker for its most important technology in years.

Please Microsoft, just admit that you screwed up, give away some cash for the rights to use "Metro" and move on. This has got embarrassing enough already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It isn't even funny anymore

No, don't stop now, this is getting better by the minute.

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Stop

Sadly

Under the covers, it's a good OS. Just hero/modern stuff that's so bad.

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Joke

Modern UI?

Is this like the art that gives modern aart a bad rep - maybe they are going for the Turner Prize - the medium seems similar to Chris Ofili's http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/226000.stm

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Count me in

I'm going to skip both the modern and the post-modern UI bowel movements and going directly to the paleo-expression-neo-tokenism UI found on my abacus.

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Oh lighten up

Let the thing get out the damn door in October and then get smug...if applicable. Have a look at some of the Metro style guidelines via some old Silverlight design pages in the meantime. The stuff is pretty to look at from a design standpoint if done right. Not jarring to the eye. That is a nice leapfrog for a developer, and it ain't too hard to code it. Unifying the interface for the future has more appeal to me than perhaps for you? Just spent a day in a CentOS Terminal, and while I love the direct power of CLI, I pulled out my Windows 8 tester device this evening to finish up some responses to emails using Outlook 2010.

Some of you geeks need to get a little more pantheistic. This isn't a football match or a religion. RedHat doesn't pay you money and neither does Microsoft. Use what you want when you want...and if you are using Windows then PuTTY and FileZilla are your friends.

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Re: Oh lighten up

As a user it looks incredibly "jarring" to me and I don't care how much you like it as a developer.

The crucial error here is having no fucking choice as a USER what the is looks and feels like. Linux I can tweak. Xp I can tweak. Win7 I can tweak. Win8 I can just bend over and take it.

That forced change is why it's not just the usual crackpots screaming this time.

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Modern UI

So when the new improved Windows 9 comes out will it have the "New Modern UI", or will it become the "Modern UI" and Windows 8 will become the "Old Modern UI".

Or do we file this under who gives a crap along with what they are going to call the current iPad when the new model comes out.

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Happy

My Plan

I'm going to keep referring to it as Metro just to annoy them.

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DJV
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Re: My Plan

Excellent! I still refer to Virgin Media as NTL.

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Snickers

will forever by Marathon, no matter what Mr. T says.

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Re: My Plan

NTL? surely you mean Blueyonder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My Plan

NTL? surely you mean Videotron?

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Trollface

I do believe every possible name less than 256 characters has already been copyrighted. It's the state of the world, MS cannot give anything a name and not get sued. :D

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In that case

I believe "Windows Mehfronishcalistenpholilugielingishoforalliskoriancratoononinkyzarfolombalieralisimologicalasticallywerndrifochaleeshonurmuriocostalentarielindrexificentablotsarafendialcoronistrealholistolacktrelliantoralliemungocatanchelsoristelorracenatarrioluridumintro" isn't taken yet, as it's 256 characters long, so they might be able to use that. And since it starts with "Me" and ends in "tro" they could always then shorten it to "Me-tro" and claim it's just an abbreviation...

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Should have called it "Emperor"

I hear he's had some new clothes too.

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The term "Metro"

... has been retired retroactively to March 2012

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Darwin prize

The more I see and hear it looks like M$ is going to get the Darwin prize for this OS. The UI might be ok for a tablet or phone (which I doubt anyone will buy), but for business-oriented desktop users things will get really bad.

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Re: Darwin prize - yes a repost but but I need to say it again..

I showed our MS Account Manager our high-end users - staff with over 9.2 million pixels of desktop real estate and running up to a dozen apps...

Me: How exactly would these people do their jobs on full screen metro apps?

Him: Well, obviously it looks like you have a requirement for a more traditional Desktop...

Me: That you disabled in the last Win8 release

Him: ........

Me: So why would I move away from Win7?

Him: ........

Unless there is a Corporate edition that allows Modor UI to be disabled this OS will be as welcome as dysentery on a submarine....

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Re: Darwin prize - yes a repost but but I need to say it again..

"Well, obviously it looks like you have a requirement for a more traditional Desktop...

Me: That you disabled in the last Win8 release

Him: ........

"

I am literally using the Desktop in the latest release of Win8 right now.

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Meh

Unqualified and slighlty inaccurate

Modern from when? With ALL CAPS titles, :::: seprerators and zero-chrome, it might have seemed modern in 1988...

UI? No, as above. OTOH, I suspect it may have a decent UX - it seems to make good play of smooth, multithreaded motion, with relevant information in the right places at the right time. I don't know for sure as I never dl'd the RC. I just couldn't get past the ugly screenshots. On mobile, ICS works just fine for me.

All I know is, if they really do rip out all the start menu APIs, I'll be skipping Win8. If VS2012 stays as ugly as sin, I'll skip that too. A shame really, because at the framework level MS have been doing some astoundingly good work of late.

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Anonymous Coward

In the Brussels museum of modern art.

There used to be (and possibly still is,) this brass headed man, smashing his head against a bell.

This is modern too, like modern ui. And I can tell you, that this word modern isn't the only thing they have in common.

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'Modern UI' ... I guess that makes the current one 'Retro'.

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Anonymous Coward

i cant wwait for the modern ui to come onto me

mmmmmmmmmmmmm

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3d & color

I would really like to have a modern experience with SOME SCREEN CONTRAST.

This is, there are lots of things a prof. user needs to view highlighted in diferent colors.. not my main job (I'm not even supposed to code, I have people to do that), but many people DO need that.. including people with small vision problems...

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Anonymous Coward

Priot art

Won't be hard to find that people have called many UI's "modern" over the years.

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TRT
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IIRC...

a UI is the schoolboy term for a U-turn.

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Black Helicopters

This confirms my suspicions.

When they started calling it "Windows 8" style UI, I suggested that they had done this to make it harder clearly refer to that most failtastic part of the OS specifically. Obviously they realized naming it the same as the OS itself was too confusing, so they had to come up with another generic sounding name, and they did. So now if you criticize it you sound like a luddite. Clever, but it can easily be subverting with quotation marks. Nice, try Microsoft. Your "Modern" UI is still utterly unsuitable for a PC.

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Anonymous Coward

I think the Reg got it right

"Mondrian" would have been a much better name.

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Missed opportunity to stick it to whoever made them change

Well the obvious new name was Ortem - sticking up two fingers to any trademark nonsense.

Still, this whole Metro crap reminds me of The Onion's Macbook Wheel sketch, where the newsreader lady says something at the end like "And it's yet to be seen how the business world will react to the Macbook Wheel, where computers are used for actual work and not just dicking about." Replace 'the Macbook Wheel' with 'Metro' and the same thing could well apply.

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Anonymous Coward

Ooooppps NSIS

http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Docs/Modern%20UI/Readme.html

NSIS = Like MSI but without the bullshit.

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