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 …

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  1. moiety

    Has anyone checked for patents on "Bag of shite"?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Paul Calf-

      http://www.dontmakemethink.co.uk/paul/

      Strangely apt url- MS marketing should have grabbed it first...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Sadly it's not even a bag of shite. It's a linearly arranged tiled list of shite. Being able to store shite in bags would be a major usability improvement.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will the last person....

    ...who gives a shit about Microsoft's OS strategy please turn off the lights.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Will the last person....

      Yup. That would probably be an improvement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Keep digging

        Keep digging that hole Microsoft and eventually you might find some classic UI in there....

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Keep digging

          Keep digging? Or, perhaps, even better...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will the last person....

        Not unless you turn off the PC as well. Otherwise it'll be the only thing you can see.

    2. Shagbag

      Apple does

      Those Metro/Windows8/Modern square icons look 'slavishly' like enlarged versions of those on an iPad.

  3. Joerg
    FAIL

    Modern Scam they should call it instead...

    ...or Modern Fraud. Even beter.

    At Microsoft they must be on crack.

    Yesterday they were telling that the new MetroUI name would have been "Windows8" ... now it's "ModernUI" ??

    Seriously?

    Tons of people need to be fired at Microsoft. Bunch of useless employees. Whoever is behind the whole retarded flawed and unusable MetroUI design must be fired along with all the managers.

    Microsoft is going to see that reality is not their fantasy on crack at all.

    They seriously believe to be able to sell to everyone and force everyone to use such an unproductive childish interface.. that is the lamest thing ever.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

      Joerg hath spoken! Tremble all who disagree! Kneel before Zod Joerg!

      Jesus, full of yourself, much?

      For desktop users, the "Modern UI" is just a new Start Menu. That's it. It's not as if the Start Menu has never changed in the past. Everything else is the same—in fact, it's actually a bit better, smoother and faster in my experience.

      For laptop users—i.e. 75%+ of the computer-buying public that isn't buying iPads and other "post-PC" devices—the Modern UI's design will finally be a step away from the ageing mouse, towards a closer integration with multi-touch track-pads that all laptops come with these days. (Yes, even Windows laptops have them now.)

      And, for people who want a tablet that can do double duty as a PC, Microsoft will have you covered there too.

      The mouse will become a niche input device sooner, not later. It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design.

      Whether you like it or not, sir, you, and all your knee-jerking reactionary Luddite friends, are the problem, not the solution. It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is holding the IT industry back.

      Microsoft are doing the right thing. Their "Surface" tablet may or may not succeed, but something inspired by it very probably will do extremely well in the business and enterprise markets. That's a market Microsoft know very, very well.

      Even if Windows 8 doesn't quite manage to replicate Windows 7's sales, Microsoft aren't going to be waiting another 7-8 years before releasing its successor. Windows 9 therefore isn't that far away. Microsoft are very good at playing the long game.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        I only use my mutil-touch trackpad when I have no space (5inX8in) to put both the mouse and my hand.

        Until a track pad will work with my fingers and give me the control, at high resolution, that my mouse gives me; I, for one, will keep using a mouse*.

        * - when I can use my eyes instead of a mouse, I WILL SWITCH, otherwise, I'll keep my mouse.

        1. Mike Flugennock
          Thumb Up

          Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

          I only use my mutil-touch trackpad when I have no space (5inX8in) to put both the mouse and my hand.

          Until a track pad will work with my fingers and give me the control, at high resolution, that my mouse gives me; I, for one, will keep using a mouse*.

          * - when I can use my eyes instead of a mouse, I WILL SWITCH, otherwise, I'll keep my mouse.

          Hear, hear.

          One of the things that first attracted me to MacOS over twenty-five years ago was -- along with the clear and intuitive GUI -- the fact that I could work the GUI with a relative positioning device, i.e., a mouse, instead of having to type commands for simple operations such as moving/copying/deleting files and such.

          I've repeatedly given stylus-driven tablets a shot ever since they first became available in the early '90s, and I've always gone back to my mouse. I liked the idea of tablets -- being a designer and illustrator and all -- and the idea of using a stylus/finger "gesturing" method to work the GUI, but in practice, the tablet was always slow and clumsy.

          The only thing I've found that works as well as a mouse is the touch pad on my laptop.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

            A decent mouse requires no more space than a trackpad and its more accurate than large round fingers. Mine currently requires less than 3" horizontal and 2" vertical movement on the desk for a 24" screen. Trackpads are better when you don't have a proper surface to use them on, or the angle is all wrong. An Apple trackpad is great in the lounge when you don't want a keyboard and a mouse doesn't work on the sofa fabric. Hence, they are better in laptops if you don't have a desk.

      2. Rob Carriere

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        @Sean: I think you might be overreacting to the overreacting. :-)

        I've been following the W8 posts and comments here and while there certainly are a number of people who might fit your idea of a Luddite, many others seem to simply be having a bit of light-hearted fun -- most of the alternate names posters, for example.

        And even with the people who are Luddites today, what counts is what they will do and think once there is a real system on their desk, rather than mere talk in the air. I'll agree with the Luddites that many of the descriptions sound quite bad, but I don't think that means much. I'm writing this on Ubuntu Unity, which has similarly horrible stuff written about it, and it's currently by far my favorite UI.

        Similarly, with W8 there's going to be people who will be absolutely tickled with it (and some of them will be among the current Luddites); there's going to be people totally turned off by it (and some of them will be among the current staunch defenders) and there's going to be the majority that goes, "Meh, another version of WIndows. So what?"

        The only tricky question is what the proportions of these groups will be, and I think only time will tell.

        Peronally, I'm happy that after 15 years of warmed-over W95, things are starting to move again. First KDE, then GNOME and Unity, now Windows. Some of these are or will be duds, but that's the way progress is made. Even if W8 bombs, Microsoft should be complimented and respected for having the guts to try.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

          >"whoever thought of this Metro should be sacked"

          why pick on them, when we can all think of a shed load of crap MS decisions? : D They will only be sacked if they lose MS money... it would seem that not many people would buy Win8 anyway- they have only just moved from XP to Win 7, for crying out loud- so MS might as well experiment. Just as the chief complaints against Vista were addressed, there is a good chance that lessons learnt from Win8 will be implemented in Win9.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        Sean Timarco Baggaley hath spoken! Tremble all who disagree! Kneel before.........

        Jesus, full of yourself, much?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Sean Timarco Baggaley

        "It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is holding the IT industry back."

        It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is stopping the IT industry fleecing you again (and again) every few years. - so that's fixed !

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        "It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design."

        It would be moronic to abandon the productive and well-tested WIMP desktop approach to GUI design. - fixed that as well

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        "Whether you like it or not, sir, you, and all your knee-jerking reactionary Luddite friends, are the problem"

        What problem ?

      7. Mike Flugennock
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        ...For laptop users—i.e. 75%+ of the computer-buying public that isn't buying iPads and other "post-PC" devices—the Modern UI's design will finally be a step away from the ageing mouse, towards a closer integration with multi-touch track-pads that all laptops come with these days. (Yes, even Windows laptops have them now.)

        And, for people who want a tablet that can do double duty as a PC, Microsoft will have you covered there too.

        The mouse will become a niche input device sooner, not later. It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design...

        Shill much?

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

      "Microsoft is going to see that reality is not their fantasy on crack at all. They seriously believe to be able to sell to everyone and force everyone to use such an unproductive childish interface"

      I've actually done counts on the number of clicks and mouse movements I need to accomplish the same things in Windows 8 as in Windows 7. A few things take longer (turning on a VPN is an extra two clicks). More things are quicker. A lot of it is the same. So I see no evidence that it is "unproductive" As to "childish", I can only guess that you see large, easy to click on and read icons childish. That's a matter of taste but it's not any usability problem. Don't you think that calling for "tonnes of people" to be fired is a bit extreme? Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

        No. Perhaps Slashdot 3, Metro Slashdot, or Modern Slashdot... 'New' anything is sooo old...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

          If by 'El Reg is the new Slashdot' they mean the presence of pro-Microsoft shills (you know who they are, some are regulars here) who furiously astroturf for their beloved company's products and direction, then yes, El Reg is the new Slashdot.

          It's to be expected actually. Obviously not all of the massive marketing budget from Microsoft goes to flashy/cheesy ad campaigns (smartphonebetatest dot com, generationapp dot com, browseryoulovedtohate dot com). A lot of the money goes into paying shills. Some are well-known (Paul Thurrott), most are anonymous commenters.

          1. dogged

            Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

            I see a lot more anti-Microsoft shills hitting their voting buttons than the converse.

            Including you, Barry.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

              "I see a lot more anti-Microsoft shills hitting their voting buttons than the converse."

              The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them

              1. dogged

                Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them

                Oddly, that makes it worse.

                Compare against AnandTec or TechRadar or even Engadget or the Verge and the Reg comments suddenly looks like a collection of fake user accounts created by all 45 users of linux on the desktop and probably funded by Google.

                Observe reactions to stories about -

                Apple :- About 60/40 anti-Apple vs pro-Apple. This is normal, fanbois are obsessed.

                IBM - Little but love except when somebody mentions a Lotus product or any of the Rational suite.

                Facebook - universal derision

                Google+ - disinterest except for the few regulars who insist on how much better it is than Facebook

                Google advertising/Wifi slurping etc - Overall negative to count by individual accounts but massively unbalanced by pro-Google types. Barry is a fine example.

                Android - By individual account, about 80% overwhelming love. You do get a few tenacious Apple fanbois insisting it's a crap copy though. And one or two programmers (I include myself) who think it has glaring faults but generally wish it well.

                Microsoft (any product) - about 90% hate, regardless of any possible qualities (positive or negative) of the product. The only exception is XBox and even there, Barry Shitpeas and Bob Vistakin (usually posting anonymously) will jump up and say it's crap because it's Microsoft. At any hour of the day or night.

                Now, you say those people aren't being paid. That would indicate that the Reg comment boards have become a self-selecting group where a qualification for entry is hating on Microsoft. Which given the law that competition is good for consumers is financial self-harming. Even leaving aside reviews by people like Trevor Pott which are generally favourable but are ALWAYS torn to pieces in the comments, and always by people who haven't even used the damn software, it's just weird.

                You can play the "I'm an embittered old sysadmin and I hate everything" card if you like (except you're not, you're first line support and you read from a fucking script) but even then, to attack without knowledge is the sign of an idiot.

                Not surprisingly, the Reg itself now almost never posts a story which MS in any favourable light because they tend to reflect the views of their readership, like any other publication. Which means you are making the Register less accurate as a source of decent news.

                If the Reg was all I read, then MS would be heading for bankruptcy at the end of the year because everyone and his cat hates Windows 8 without ever using it and Asus don't like Surface and Nokia are already in receivership and Google rule the entire world except for the US legal system which Apple has locked down.

                No doubt that's how some of you wish the world actually was. But then, Daily Mail readers wish the Nazis had won.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                  "self-selecting group where a qualification for entry is hating on Microsoft. Which given the law that competition is good for consumers is financial self-harming."

                  Microsoft and competition - words not often seen together !

                  and how a group of individuals can become self-selecting ..!!??

                  It seems that almost NO-ONE love microsoft - some find them useful, some are forced to use their software, some game, some know no better. But hardly anyone likes them.

                  1. dogged

                    Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                    It seems that almost NO-ONE love microsoft - some find them useful, some are forced to use their software, some game, some know no better. But hardly anyone likes them.

                    I agree and yet, this does not make their products universally bad. Which, if these boards and this site were all you went by, you would be forgiven for thinking. In fact, you'd be unlikely to think otherwise.

                    This view is very popular but it is wrong. Not every Microsoft product is bad and many of those who criticize do so without experience of the products in question. The articles tend to be mean-spirited but this is the Reg so you pretty much expect that. The comments, however, go way beyond and into the realms of outright falsehood in what could be perceived as a deliberate attempt to discredit.

                    That it's (claimed to be) voluntary rather than paid negative astroturfing makes it worse because it indicates that these commenters put blind hatred and/or favouritism toward a different product/manufacturer above rationality. It is irrational. It is not sane behaviour.

                    The idea that any one of these people gets to make business decision which affect jobs, families and livelihoods when they are irrational is deeply worrying.

                    Fortunately, they're mostly first-support who read from a fucking script and pretend to abilities which they plainly do not have; the root of skilful manipulation of technology being sound analysis and their analytic skills being negated by their evident irrationality.

                2. Chemist

                  Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                  "created by all 45 users of linux on the desktop"

                  By the way if you believe that you're delusional

                  1. dogged

                    Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                    I know, 45 is a huge exaggeration.

                    1. Chemist

                      Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                      "put blind hatred and/or favouritism toward a different product/manufacturer above rationality. It is irrational. It is not sane behaviour."

                      So how do you rationalize your stupid "45 linux desktop users" with your above statement ?

                      I've worked at a pharma that had 200+ Linux desktops in one department alone (years ago) and know that many others are similar.

                      I'm all in favour of rational debate about problems/merits of different OS and approaches but as a "minority" Linux user I'm also sick of the FUD spread about Linux. Just in recent days " need the CLI to do anything", "need to compile programs to use them", " drivers only available on certain hardware" - it's not true and there's lots of it. Mostly it's ignorant people but some of it is malicious - so don't whinge on about Windows getting a hard time - it all depends where you're standing.

                      1. dogged

                        Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                        It's not Windows getting a hard time that concerns me, it's Everything. Even Yammer and Skype caught it after MS bought them.

                        And the 45 users thing is a joke but not without some merit. Mention an update to Windows Phone and watch the "all seven users will be pleased" comments roll in. It's okay to use a minority OS as long it's not a minority OS that you don't use, or something like that I suppose.

                        Call it frustration. You know as well as I do that 90% of the world is using Windows and the odds are on that 90% of the Reg's readers are using it, too.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                          "45 users thing is a joke but not without some merit"

                          As a light-hearted comment it was fine. HOWEVER it was part of a rant. Was the rest a light-hearted comment ?

                      2. h4rm0ny

                        Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                        "Mostly it's ignorant people but some of it is malicious - so don't whinge on about Windows getting a hard time - it all depends where you're standing."

                        The correct position, imo, is not to balance ignorant bias against one OS with ignorant bias against another OS, but to balance it with informative posts regardless of direction. The factionalism on these forums is insane. I know that I have corrected misinformation about Linux on several occasions, but I know that I far more often have to do it with Windows on these forums (and I have been modded down heavily on occasion even just for factual corrections when it comes to Windows.)

                        Your comment about someone "whinging on about Windows getting a hard time" is unfair, imo. Windows *does* get a much harder time here than other OS. It's a pathological hatred for many to the point that they appear to get genuinely angry at facts that undermine criticism. If you're against FUD, you should be against all of it. I.e. don't call someone "whinging" if they object to it just because it's FUD against a non-prefered OS. It's as much a valid complaint as when we get RICHTO here launching partisan attacks against Linux (and you'll find a number of posts from me correcting their slanders as well).

                        1. Chemist
                          Holmes

                          Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                          "The correct position, imo, is not to balance ignorant bias against one OS with ignorant bias against another OS, but to balance it with informative posts regardless of direction"

                          I agree, I said something similar in that very post.

                          "imo. Windows *does* get a much harder time here than other OS"

                          Can't agree with that - as I mentioned in the same post the sheer ignorance or FUD about Linux stands out to me - hence the comment about where one stands.

                          "whinging on about Windows getting a hard time" " - I said that because the tenor of the post seemed to me to be exactly that, esp. suggesting that a (handful) of Linux supporters were somehow dominating the forum - that seemed more like paranoia in fact.

                          1. h4rm0ny

                            Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                            Well as someone who generally likes the new stuff from Microsoft, I can give you countless examples of where simple factual corrections from me have been modded down heavily. Time and time again. Respectfully, if you think that Linux has as bias against it here as Windows, then I think you should try to conciously be more neutral for a week and see what you can spot against Windows. As a heavy user of both Linux and Windows, I am very sensitive to FUD against both, and I promise you I deal with a lot more directed against Windows than I do against Linux. Regarding the motivations of the downvoters, you say Linux users. I would more specifically say Andoid fans in general.

                            1. Chemist

                              Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                              "more directed against Windows than I do against Linux."

                              Well you would do. There's a lot more Microsoft stuff about.

                              1. h4rm0ny

                                Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                                "Well you would do. There's a lot more Microsoft stuff about."

                                No. I meant that I see a lot more bias against Windows than I do against Linux in any given story about either.

              2. h4rm0ny

                Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

                "The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them"

                I'm not being paid to post here either. I doubt any of the other people you consider to be "Microsoft Shills" are being paid to post.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

          New is the new old.

          Also, old is the new new.

          When new is the new new they'll have cracked it! Or rather, cracked one off.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

        The number of clicks might be the same, but I bet scrolling through page after page of initially-unordered non-hierarchical tiles might take up a wee bit more time.

        You know, they put directories in MS-DOS 2.0 for a reason...

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

          "The number of clicks might be the same, but I bet scrolling through page after page of initially-unordered non-hierarchical tiles might take up a wee bit more time. You know, they put directories in MS-DOS 2.0 for a reason..."

          No, there's very slittle scrolling through pages. I regularly use around twenty programs on Windows. That many tiles fits on my laptop screen even without have to reduce the double width tiles. On my 24" monitor on my desktop (where I actually use the twenty programs), it can put fifty tiles on there which is way more than I need so I don't have to scroll. Only very rarely do I need to expand out to the All Applications view and if I find I need to do that more than a couple of times for a program, I just pull it onto the main screen. In fact, the All Applications view isn't reached by "scrolling" which makes me wonder if you've actually used this.

    3. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

      ...At Microsoft they must be on crack...

      Whoa, hey, man! There's MS's new brand name for the Windows 8 UI, right there: "Crack".

      No, really, gang; I'm only half joking here.

  4. NotSmartEnough
    FAIL

    Modern UI. Outstanding work Microsoft.

    Modern compared to what? Does this imply that non-tile based UIs are, like, so last-year?

    Regardless of the pros and cons of the OS itself (not used it, won't comment), doesn't this hasty rebranding seem undignified and a bit amateurish? It seems they really have lost their way.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Calling it "Modern" looks like the hand of the Microsoft PR department. It's quite clever, for two reasons:

      1) By calling it Modern, it implies that people who don't like it are boring old farts. If they don't like the new UI, it must be their fault.

      2) They can offer a sop to them in the form of the "Classic" (i.e. W7) UI, therefore making it look like they are doing the old fuddy-duddies a favour, instead of admitting that they screwed up and are back-pedalling.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        @Phil

        Problem with calling something 'modern' is progress. It more or less means that W9 will be 'post-modern', and no-one would want a post-modernist computer.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: @Phil

          > no-one would want a post-modernist computer.

          We're already there. It puts random gunk on your screen and its up to you to find your own meaning in it.

      2. shaunhw
        FAIL

        About as modern as an old Ford Poplar

        If their so called "ModernUI" was the defacto standard in use right now, and someone came up with the multi tasking multi window desktop, it would be hailed as completely revolutionary. It's therefore only "modern" in the sense that it is new and even that's debatable. It has nothing whatsoever to offer the PC user in my humble opinion.

        Even on existing tablets (iPad, and Android) which have been designed for touch, tasks such as web browsing are completely tedious. Simple operations such as clicking on web links with ones finger is diabolicial and error prone, and it's usually necessary to blow up the screen to accomodate your fingers first. The only reason I use it at all, is because I am too lazy to go and boot up the PC just for a quick bit of web browsing in the morning before work.

        If the mouse had not been around and we were all fumbling like that, surely someone would have invented it. It too would have been hailed as revolutionary

        "ModernUI" is a step backwards. There may be things which could be done, but "ModernUI" certainly isn't it.

        Are they really so desperate for something new and revolutionary, they have to go backwards to some kind of none windowing window scheme ?

        Add the infernal thing if you really must, but PLEASE don't cripple PC desktop use because of it. Allow people to set up *their* computers as THEY want. Booting directly into desktop with startmenu and all, if necessary.

        Forcing this thing on people is ludicrous, and completely arrogant.

        1. h4rm0ny

          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?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Calling something "Modern"...

        Certainly worked for Activision.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eurasia?

    We've always been at war with Eastasia.

  6. Steven Raith

    Patentable?

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

  7. calumg

    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.

    1. h4rm0ny

      "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. ;)

      1. Mike Flugennock

        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).

  8. Khaptain Silver badge
    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..

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What does UI stand for ?

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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. :)

  9. King Jack
    Coat

    Playschool

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

  10. N2 Silver badge

    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. OrsonX
      Headmaster

      more stupider

      I'm with stupid(er).

  12. frank ly Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "Engaging Citizens with Engaging Design"

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

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: "Engaging Citizens with Engaging Design"

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

  13. xperroni
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It isn't even funny anymore

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

  14. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    Stop

    Sadly

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

  15. John Miles
    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

  16. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    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.

  17. multipharious

    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.

    1. Paul Shirley

      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.

  18. Tom 35 Silver badge

    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.

  19. DrAJS
    Happy

    My Plan

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

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: My Plan

      Excellent! I still refer to Virgin Media as NTL.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: My Plan

        NTL? surely you mean Blueyonder?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: My Plan

          NTL? surely you mean Videotron?

    2. OrsonX

      Snickers

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

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    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

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      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...

  21. stucs201

    Should have called it "Emperor"

    I hear he's had some new clothes too.

  22. Randy Hudson

    The term "Metro"

    ... has been retired retroactively to March 2012

  23. etabeta
    Thumb Down

    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.

    1. Youngdog

      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....

      1. h4rm0ny

        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.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Stiggy
    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.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  26. Pseu Donyme

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

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i cant wwait for the modern ui to come onto me

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  28. Aitor 1

    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...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Priot art

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

  30. TRT Silver badge

    IIRC...

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

  31. Old Handle
    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.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the Reg got it right

    "Mondrian" would have been a much better name.

  33. Ascy

    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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ooooppps NSIS

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

    NSIS = Like MSI but without the bullshit.

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ooooppps NSIS

      Well spotted sir!

  35. Homer 1
    FAIL

    Naff: adjective. See "Microsoft"

    It's amazing, isn't it? 62 billion in the bank and 94,290 staff, and between them they can't even dream up a half-way imaginative name for their new UI.

    Sometimes I think Microsoft actually goes out of its way to be deliberately naff.

    What next, a social network called "so.cl"?

    Oh wait...

    1. Hoagiebot

      Re: Naff: adjective. See "Microsoft"

      Wait just a second there... are you telling me that so.cl is still around? I had only first learned about its existence at a local Windows User Group meeting a couple of months ago, but it was so unremarkable and unimpressive that I had literally already completely forgotten about it since then. Up until reading your comment above I had never seen it mentioned again either, keeping me blissfully ignorant of its continued existence. Thanks for ruining that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Naff: adjective. See "Microsoft"

      London 2012 appears to have been a resounding success - apart from Lisa Simpson giving the blowjob everywhere you look - and it wasn't until actually having mascots on the track trying to freak out the athletes that it occured to me at least the light coloroured one looks a bit like a big flaccid cock with semi-retracted foreskin.

      Perhaps MS should have employed the twats who designed those.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how about post-Modern...

    Yesss... now I realized, it's elementary simple and brilliant... those squares and rectangles are to be used in the future by monkeys, one million monkeys randomly hitting them, to generate the OS of the future... and another million to be hired as testers, randomly hitting the squares, something must come out of this, eventually...

    alright it has been a long day, I really need a beer...

  37. Cru
    Meh

    Modern?

    Modernism? As in, 20th century?

    Welcome to the new millennium. Where's your post-modern UI?

  38. Poor Coco

    Oh, I know.

    They can call it “Lorem Ipsum”.

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: Oh, I know.

      In the same line of thought...there is also "etaoin shrdlu"

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Oh, I know.

      No, they should do a Prince, you know, "The UI formerly known as Metro."

  39. Mikel
    Windows

    Windows Phone news has dried up

    I note that on every blog, analyst report and trade publication for the last 18 months there have been an continuous drumbeat of hopeful, over-optimistic articles about Windows Phone - several each week and syndicated all over the place. And now they have all but stopped. If anything, the trend is now the opposite.

    1. Joerg

      Re: Windows Phone news has dried up

      Windows Phone is a huge failure. It gained only 2-3% market share.

      The MetroUI that comes with it it's a huge failure. If people loved it then it would have sold like hotcakes.

      So, how could any Company/Corporation group of managers even think about forcing the unwanted MetroUI on everyone from system admins to developers to power users to normal users ?

      It doesn't make any damn sense. The demand is not there so why forcing it?

      Either at Microsoft they are full of drugs like never before or crazy managers came up with this mess of MetroUI to please those that designed it inside the group, maybe their lovers or relatives or whatever..? But that would still be the result of using drugs, it's just a financial suicide.

      The people have spoken already, MetroUI is a failure, only a bunch of Microsoft fans along with Microsoft employees love it. The rest of the world doesn't want to waste time with that childish awful design mess of an UI.

  40. LinkOfHyrule
    WTF?

    Modern UI eh?

    The 1960s council towerblock estate of UI do they mean?

    Is Windows 9 going to have post-modern UI with exposed pipework all over the screen like the Lloyds building?

  41. Rambler88
    Pint

    The purpose of the US Patent & Trademark office is to just rubber-stamp everything and let the lawyer$ sort it out. There's probably no-one there who knows that "UI" is a generic term.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > The purpose of the US Patent & Trademark office is to just rubber-stamp everything and let the lawyer$ sort it out.

      The purpose of the US Patent & Trademark office is to collect the fees as it rubber-stamps everything and lets the lawyer$ sort it out.

      There, fixed that for you.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    The new name is so obvious.

    Really, microsoft, it's staring you in the face, instead of metro, stick with theme you've had for decades! :

    Tiles

    Makes sense.

    Microsoft Tiles.

    You can go far with a simple construct like this. Everyone knows windows.

    Apple uses big cats for operating system names, why not use building materials for yours?

    Microsoft Brick.

    Microsoft Sliding Doors.

    Microsoft Concrete.

    Microsoft Drain.

    It's awesome! - and I've given you this idea for free, as I know you'll be reading ALL the comments on this forum.

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Joke

      I don't know about all MS staff but...

      I have it on very good authority that actually, Ballmer does indeed sit down at the end of everyday and peruse these very forums while enjoying a lovely glass of Buckfast tonic wine and a hand rolled Old Holborn cigarette. He's a very refined man, clearly!

      Hi Steve!

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The new name is so obvious.

      They've been there and done that.

      Remember Windows CeMeNT?

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        Remember Windows CeMeNT?

        I've got it - call it Windows SeeYou NT

    3. P. Lee Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The new name is so obvious.

      after a night out on the tiles, she's looking a bit worse for wear...

  43. Red Eyes
    WTF?

    Why name it at all?

    I think I'll call it the Win8 interface. I don't really see the point of another name no one will use.

  44. Gerard Krupa

    Generic Naming

    Perhaps instead of Modern they could call it New Technology and then call the operating system Windows NT.

  45. mark l 2 Silver badge
    Joke

    I think everyone should refer whenever possible to every other OS GUI as a modern UI just to piss off Microsoft. Such as, I think iOS is such a modern UI, ah but is it as much as a modern UI as the latest Ubuntu or Androids modern UI?

    As for cool names for your UI i think the Amiga OS had the best, theirs was called intuition

  46. Tank boy
    Linux

    There's a term for this

    Polishing the Turd. MS has made billions doing this for years. Why they chose not to steamroll whoever held the trademark on Metro leads me to believe that they don't have high hopes for Windows 8. Shortly to be replaced with Windows 9. Should start a betting pool on what they'll call that turd *er* newest bestest OS!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Modern UI

    " If Microsoft was forced to drop the name Metro because of a trademark dispute, as rumor has it, is the phrase "Modern UI" unique enough that Microsoft can trademark it?"

    Like they trademarked 'Windows', FFS (although it took 2 attempts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Modern UI

      " If Microsoft was forced to drop the name Metro because of a trademark dispute, as rumor has it, is the phrase "Modern UI" unique enough that Microsoft can trademark it?"

      Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so read what I am about to write here while keeping that in mind.

      I have been reading up a lot on U.S. trademark law recently for my own business purposes, and to the best of my understanding the term "Modern UI" would be most likely considered by the U.S. courts to be a very "weak" trademark that would have a very limited scope of protection at best, or be outright rejected for registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at worst.

      To explain, for a trademark to be "strong," and therefore very easy to register and enforce, it must be above all else considered to be distinctive. The most distinctive, and thus most protectable marks are known as "fanciful" marks. Fanciful marks are usually words that are completely made up, or at the very least very obsolete and little-known words. The big pharmaceutical companies are the absolute masters at coming up with these kinds of very strong trademarks, giving drugs made-up fanciful names such as Lipitor, Advair, Plavix, Nexium, Prevacid, etc. Some companies also have very strongly protectable fanciful names, such as Exxon and Kodak.

      The next strongest type of trademark are marks that are considered to be "arbitrary" marks. These marks are words with well-known meanings, but their meanings are unrelated to the products that they are being used with. Some good examples of arbitrary trademarks would be "Apple" for computers, "Lotus" for a car company, and possibly even "Metro" for a user-interface.

      Weaker still, but still protectable and considered to be distinctive, are "suggestive" marks. These marks hint at describing a product, sometimes using clever misspellings or arrangements of words to do so, but they don't flat out describe the product. Some good examples of these kinds of trademarks would be "Froot Loops" for a breakfast cereal, "Durawrap" for an industrial plastic packaging film, and "Microsoft" for a company that develops software for microcomputers.

      A "weak" kind of trademark that is often not considered to be very distinctive nor protectable, is a "descriptive" trademark. To quote gimmelaw.com, "A mark is considered merely descriptive when it consists only of a term or symbol that describes the intended purpose, function, users, nature or desirable characteristic of the products." These marks can only become protectable the hard way, i.e. that they have been used in commerce to identify the source of a product for so long that the words have developed a "secondary meaning." This means that consumers have begun to identify the mark with one source, and no other source, for the goods or services that it describes. Some good examples of descriptive trademarks would be "Sports Illustrated" for a sports magazine with photos, "International Business Machines" for an international company that sells business machines, "Windows" for windowing-software, and "Sharp" for televisions.

      Note that all of the mark examples that I have just listed above *have* developed the required "secondary meaning" over time, which is why they are now considered enforceable trademarks. However, without this previously established secondary meaning, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not allow a descriptive trademark to be registered. "Modern UI" sounds like a classic example of a descriptive mark to me, so good luck with Microsoft trying to register it. The only way that they will ever be able to make "Modern UI" protectable as a trademark is if they establish a secondary meaning for the term, which means that they will have to convince all of us to identify the term "Modern UI' with a user-interface coming from Microsoft and only Microsoft. They may succeed in doing that if they can convince everyday people to identify the term "Modern UI" only with Microsoft, but it's not like their success with this endeavor will be easy or pre-ordained.

      Other marks that are considered to be "weak" and have to achieve a "secondary meaning" before they become protectable are marks based on surnames (Sinclair Research, McDonalds, Ferrari), or marks that are primarily geographically descriptive, such as "First National Bank of Omaha" for a bank located in Omaha, Nebraska, or "New York Life" for a New York-based life insurance company. As you can see from the examples that I have given above, they can become protectable, but once again it is an uphill battle as you have to establish a secondary meaning first, and these types of trademarks will often be rejected for registration if the secondary meaning is not already established.

      Lastly, you have generic terms, which cannot be protected as trademarks. You will not get any kind of trademark protection by naming your bread-making company "Bread Co.," or your computer selling company "Laptop Computers, Inc." because these terms are generic and not protectable.

      Like some others have expressed here, if I was Microsoft I would have given the company Metro AG some big sacks of money in exchange for using the "Metro" trademark, or failing that firing up the war fleet of lawyers, digging in my heels, and fighting Metro AG for all they're worth over the mark. "Metro" is a far stronger and more distinctive trademark for a user-interface than "Modern UI" is, and Microsoft had already built some brand recognition (for better or for worse) around the "Metro" mark. It would make good sense to fight to keep the mark at this point. But I am just an armchair observer on the sidelines, so what do I know. Metro AG is another large multinational company, and their war fleet of lawyers is probably quite impressive and capable as well. In addition, since Metro AG does operate in several countries they probably were prepared to sue and fight Microsoft in each of them, which could have possibly turned into a very expensive, drawn-out, and multi-faceted legal battle for Microsoft. Perhaps Microsoft thought that the re-branding of Metro, even at this late stage in the game, to Modern UI was actually the less painful of the two courses? I really don't know and am only speculating here. In any case, I really hope that more information about this fiasco eventually comes out because I would really like to know what happened behind the scenes here. An exposé about this whole thing would be fascinating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern UI

        ""Microsoft" for a company that develops software for microcomputers."

        I think you are wrong there !

  48. Colin Miller

    KDE skin

    "Modern" is, IIRC, a skin for KDE, and has been for about 10 years…

  49. John Savard Silver badge

    Possible Names

    Well, since Windows 8 is the operating system, a name for the native user interface of the Windows 8 operating system is needed. Calling it the Windows 8 Modern User Interface is unique enough.

    But if they wanted something catchy, after dropping Metro, they could have called it Cosmo or Cosmopolitan; another possibility would be Manhattan.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      "The Manhattan project"

      Good choice. It's going to blow up in their face.

  50. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Microsoft OS pattern

    Long ago it was noted that there's a tempo to the OSes coming out of Microsoft.

    Bad Bad Good Bad Bad Good Bad Bad Good Bad Bad Good...

    The latest Win 7 was Good. Thus this Win 8/Metro/whatever thingy is almost certainly the first of two Bads.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft OS pattern

      Back when Win Me and Win Vista arrived, Microsoft didn't 'bet the farm' and go all-in onto a single product.

      Only this time, the 'bad' (formerly known as Metro UI) of Windows 8 is spread across desktops, tablets, phones, Office 2013, Metro-style IE10... even Visual Studio 2012.

      If Windows 8 fails, there will be a chain-domino reaction and other products will also fail.

      Almost everyone is going to stick with Win7 (or Vista/XP), or as long as they can.

      I loosely quote a line from Seinfeld:

      "That's not going to be good for business. That's not going to be good for anybody."

      I predict Steve Ballmer will be booted out faster than you can mutter 'developers', and Windows 8 SP2 a.k.a Windows 9 will arrive in 2014 to rectify things.

      Unfortunately for Microsoft, tech advances very fast these days, and a lot of things can happen within two years. Consequently, Windows 9 may not bring 'redemption' like Windows 7 had done.

  51. Mage Silver badge

    Hmm

    I remember a Tiled GUI, some while before Windows 1.0

    How is this "modern"? Instead of "touch screen with finger" we had "touch screen with light pen", which meant that large areas of black could not be used. Some screens had three brightnesses of green and black.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Modern UI?

    What a load of balls.

    Oh, sorry... rectangles.

    (And doesn't Apple own them?)

  53. Garibaldi
    Thumb Up

    Let's give Micro$oft some credit!

    They could've done Apple style crusade, and bang German company WW2 style.

  54. Laurent Cargill
    WTF?

    Rock and hard place.

    All this criticism of the new UI. But what choice does MS have? Touch is the current big advance in UI, can anyone say for certain that in 5 years there won't be more tablet devices than desktops? MS has to do something to counter the rise of the ipad, but no one seems to be presenting a better idea, just criticism of their approach. Yes, merging a desktop OS with a mobile UI might not be the greatest solution, but how else is MS to incorporate touch into it's OS?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Rock and hard place.

      > Yes, merging a desktop OS with a mobile UI might not be the greatest solution,

      If it is a 'solution' then the question is: what is the problem?

      The problem for Microsoft is that its business model requires increasing revenue. This keep the stock price up and allows it to cover many of it costs (salaries) with stock options. This keeps its tax down and its profits up because the options don't cost it much.

      Forecasts show that desktop sales have stagnated and may well decline. Apple has taken much of this because users choose to buy an iPad instead of buying a new replacement desktop. Microsoft failed to get any traction in the mobile mobile and has declined in the phone market. It had ~40% of smartphone with WM, yet WP7 failed to get above 5th place.

      MS needs to counter its stagnant desktop revenue by getting revenue from Surface, tablet OS sales, phone sales and, importantly, app store and high-street store sales. ie it needs to take revenue from Apple, OEMs and retail 'partners'.

      Consultants seem to have blamed WP7 lack of sales on the UI being unfamiliar compared to iOS and Android. The solution then is to make 'Metro' "the most familiar UI". Once Metro becomes familiar, so their logic goes, the users will _demand_ it on their phones and tablets and also that users will want all three devices (including desktop) and to operate the same and interwork via 'the cloud' and to buy all their software via the app store.

      The 'solution' to Microsoft's future revenue problem is to force 'the UI formerly known as Metro' down desktop (and XBox) user's throats until they bloody well like it. Whether Metro is a good UI or wanted by users is irrelevant because Microsoft has no other available way of getting to where it thinks the next revenue stream will come from.

      1. Manu T

        Re: Rock and hard place.

        What you're saying saying is that Microsoft is in the same bad shape as e.g. Nokia or RIM. Or basically anyone else except Apple and Samsung.

        Perhaps it is time we let ALL these dinosaurs die. Haven't those rich bastards grabbed enough money already? Isn't it about time for others to get filthy rich?

    2. Gartal

      Re: Rock and hard place.

      I think the point you are missing is about the difference between data consumption and data entry/creation. MS spent 1.7 oodles of dollars finding out what works for a desktop interface. The fact that the original idea came from GEM is of no consequence as just about every GUI in mainstream use follows the same principles. The keyboard and mouse are similar in this respect, everybody uses them because they are for certain types of task far faster than anything else. Yes, you can tap here or there on a touch screen to initiate a function but the resolution of a finger is far far less than that of a mouse meaning that fewer functions can be enabled per area of screen.

      The keyboard is still pre-eminent for data entry because even though the layout is specifically designed to slow typists down, it is several times faster than hand writing with a stylus or any sort on any medium and many times faster than trying to write with a single finger of a piece of glass.

      Yes there will be new technoglogies or refinements to existing ones. Who knows, even speech recognition may become sufficiently accurate in a sufficiently wide range of environments that speech becomes the prefered means of interacting with a computer.

      If you have not tried Windows 8 with Gaytro UI, I suggest you try it on your desktop so you can have a feel for what these comments are about.

      On other significant difference between a device like a smartphone/ipad and a desktop is the the complexity of task which each device is expected to perform. There are lots of pretty applications out there for the afore mentioned, but they are far more limited in what they do than apps (or Programs as we used to call them) on a desktop machine are.

  55. CmdrX3

    Thats it...

    How much do these fucking idiots get paid for coming up with this shite.

  56. Wombling_Free
    FAIL

    How the Mighty fall.

    Who would believe KODAK would ever go belly up?

    That IBM would get out of making computers?

    That Nokia could fail?

    Sure MS might carry on in server-world for quite a while, and Office probably won't vanish overnight... but a consumer / business desktop OS producer?

    Given the PR smell from MS these days (equal mixture or fear, panic and bullshit) maybe Windows 7 will be the Last Great Windows OS.

    Come on Gabe, make a Steam-blessed LINUX OS....

    1. Manu T

      Re: How the Mighty fall.

      The funny thing is that they all have themselves to blame.

      Nokia: EVERYBODY is telling/screaming/yelling that ditching your own OS in favour of an immature already failed Microsoft OS is/was a VERY BAD idea. Yet they KEEP persuing it. I mentioned this at their official blog and some Nokia rep kept telling me that HE believe they made the right choice. They're obviously blind as a bat and brainwashed beyond belief.

      Microsoft: EVERYBODY is telling that the "UI fromerly known as Metro" AKA UFKAM is NOT suitable for the classic desktop. Yet they keep enforcing it.

      To me it's clear. Both Microsoft and Apple are turning into "toy facturies". Apple building mediaplayers and enhanced featurephones and probably other portable devices (they already ditched Mac OS server). And Microsoft is literally becoming a console and soon handheld xbox-a-like maker. Because I'm convinced that the only thing keeping their business afloat for now is XBox (and associated peripherals/software). Their XBox integration into WP7 is also seen as their biggest asset since the OS itself is as crippled as a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk in 2012.

      As it is today it may well be that Samsung coupled with Google are getting the most powerfull positions on the market. Until they fall which eventually they will. In my book Samsung already has fallen with their crappy plastic fragile phones and horrible after sale service. Not to mention their flooding the market with shoddy consumer products (whom always have something horrible wrong either in design or in features)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Modern UI? Seriously?

    Was that really the best name the entire marketing department at Microsoft could come up with? The moment you call anything modern you have given it a six month shelf life before it becomes dated and irrelevant.

    This really indicates to me that even most of Microsoft isn't behind the Metro change.

    1. Gartal

      Re: Modern UI? Seriously?

      I don't know why they just dont call it Fred.

      Or maybe Jeffrey.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Philip Lewis
        Coat

        Re: Modern UI? Seriously?

        or Bob?

      3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Modern UI? Seriously?

        "Bungle" would be more apt.

  58. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    Now

    I've had time to reflect on windows 8 and I can see where microsoft are going with this

    You see they've come up with the metro/modern ui thing for windows 8, convincing themselves that its the best thing ever, yet in tests and comments , 90% of people say its a bag of poo.

    But the product is too far along to go around ripping out the UI and replacing it with something better.

    So they are going to push windows 8 and its crap ui for all they are worth.

    Come 2014 and OS sales are on a freefall to oblivion, Windows 9 with its 'classic' or 'retro' UI will become available.....and its 25% more expensive than windows 8

    See 'new coke' vs 'classic coke' for more details

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Word: Apple

    Are Microsoft hell-bent on getting the entire consumer market off Windows and onto Mac OS X? Because that is what is happening now and will hit 2nd gear when this steaming pile of dog doo hits the market.

  60. Big_Ted
    Windows

    Boy are a lot of you deluded.

    This will be a massive success as far as making money is concerned.

    Every new PC from around the end of the year on will have one choice when buying in the consumer sector and that's Win8, Millions upon Millions of PC's sold with Win8 means mega bucks for MS.

    What alternative is there ? OSX is not possible except on Apple kit and that costs 2-3 times more, linux etc is unknown for most and they will not even consider it. Plus good luck finding a major PC maker supplying it as a choice.

    You can knock it all you want but a more likely future is many get used to the Win8 UI and are happy with it once they have used it for a while, then those that matter directors etc will be asking their IT departments why they can't have a phone, tablet, desktop, laptop with same OS to do all the work on in the workplace as it makes sense to them.

    Yes it would be nice to have an update to install the start button again but I don't see it happening as MS are obviously looking to become the top player in both mobile and desktop/laptop and see this as the only hope as getting their mobile business to have a chance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boy are a lot of you deluded.

      Do not delete your comment, we'll get back to you at the next Microsoft earnings call.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Boy are a lot of you deluded.

      > one choice when buying in the consumer sector and that's Win8

      No. You are wrong. They do have another choice and that is _not_buying_ a new desktop and keeping their old one which runs the already familiar WinXP or Win7.

      With the money saved they could feed the kids, have a holiday, pay off some of their credit card, or buy an iPad.

      How hard is that ?

  61. Manu T

    Metro OS

    I would have thought that they would drop the "Windows"-moniker since there aren't any "Windows" in it.

    The same with Windows Phone. In fact there never was in their phone OS's, not even in Windows Mobile or Pocket PC 2000/2002. Not to mention "Metro OS " sounds much cooler. Or Metro Phone OS for smartphones.

    Otherwise they could have just invented something totally non-descriptive like "Android" (which has nothing to do with robotic entities at all) or "Nokia Belle"... doh! The only one that makes sense is iOS since it powers those Apple i-Devices and /or Mac OS (which powers macIntosh computers).

    Perhaps El Reg readers can help Microsoft to invent a 'good' name for it's future flagship OS. Someone mentioned "Tile OS" which is similarly descriptive as "Windows". What about "Tetris" or to make matters confusing for punters (which is what they're all very good at) "Arkanoid OS". I'd probably call it "The weakest Link" or Gestapo OS (because of the tight grip they want to have on devs & users and the fear they'll unleash on originality and freethinking).

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Metro OS

      That would be "GestapOS", then.

      Though that wouldn't make much sense in the original german.

  62. Mike Flugennock
    Coffee/keyboard

    just wondering...

    ...after checking out the Mondrian painting -- haven't there been some other OS overhauls or new applications which used the names of famous painters as code names? Just wondering, as now I'm thinking they could've saved themselves all this embarassment and code-named their new turdlet "Mondrian".

    Or, maybe not. I'm not clear on the legalities of using famous proper names. There is the Tesla Roadster, though...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just wondering...

      Damn, I am glad MS didn't do that. I have always loved Mondrian, and the mental connection between this artist's works and "the interface formerly known as Metro" would have been an unbearable burden to my artistic soul.

      Dweeb

      (Oops, almost wrote "autistic soul" there)

  63. Zebo-the-Fat
    Thumb Down

    I don't care what it's called... it's still pig ugly!

    It looks like it was designed for a retarded 3 year old, it MAY be ok on a tablet or a phone but on a desktop I doubt it.

  64. Gartal

    Still a pig

    Even if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.

    Or to paraphrase Senor Shakespeare San

    A piece of shite by any other name is still a piece of shit

    Or

    You can't polish a turd though you can roll it in glitter and try to make it look good.

    Or

    All that glisters is not Windows Moden UI

    Or in a slight reversal

    You can't cast swine before pearls

    Or

    You can lead a horse to water, but even he will know it's piss.

    Or

    The grass is always greener in the semantic engineering department, but shite is still shite.

    Or continuing in a porcine vein

    You can't make a silk purse from a sows ear.

    Or to borrow from Garcia Lorca

    All dust and light must pass away

    To try and make a Modern UI pay

    Or in a violent vein, why is it that those dimwits with guns in America shoot school kids and not certain well known people from similarly well known organisations who try to foist plain stupid crap on the public and then whinge that no-one wants to fork out hard earned sheckles for that which pongeth?

    From where I stand, the Vista is remarkable. You can see all the way to a tiled shithouse.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Early example of a modern UI, circa 1920.

    wow.. Prior Art that is... well... art!

    Must be a first.

  66. CuriousChicken
    IT Angle

    Modern UI

    From the people who brought the gui to the masses.

    Then New Technology.

    Then Windows 2000 - New NT Technology - how short are the memories (or careers) of marketing types.

    Now the Modern UI - the MUI.

    Sounds like a cat. Makes me want to SPUI.

  67. Steve Martins

    to stand out in a crowd...

    Glad to see mikkysoft is continuing its tradition of choosing product names that will stand out against the backdrop sea of of search terms on the internet... the joy of searching for specific information using terms like .net, word, com, SQL server, office to mention a few. I can see how "modern UI" will easily appear at the top of the search list and be relevant, being such a unique product name. At the very least they could have chosen a random lowercase letter of the alphabet to prepend to all their products! ( 'i' as in "idiot" has already been used however)

  68. chiller

    My Windows Vista/ME 'shit OS' detector is going crazy at the moment.

    I have just done a shit, that could be described as modern and fresh as well.

  69. David Strum
    Angel

    No Mercy and No Loyalty

    They are damned if they don’t listen to user complaints – they are damned if they do listen and make changes…be it a token name change. Hmm - it seems the MS tanker is starting to zigzag, its only a matter of time before it hits rocks and sink. No mercy.

  70. idrinktea

    Modern UI = MUI

    Which sounds a bit like someone throwing up.

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