Ramkumar Iyer Aug 10, 2012 18:44:06 IST
Microsoft is going to drop the Metro in its Windows 8 operating system. No, wait, the Redmond-based giant is not dropping the weird, more-suited-to-touchscreens-than-computers interface; just the name. The UI, apps, and everything else to do with Metro will now be simply known as 'Windows 8'. Not quite inventive, we know.
Microsoft has claimed that ‘Metro’ was just a code name for the interface used by developers all along, and that generic use of the code by the public was never intended. However, as per a report by ZDNet, this switch has been made owing to a naming dispute with its European partner, Metro Group.
The report cites official sources as saying, “Anything currently/ formerly known as a ‘Metro-Style application’ (with or without a hyphen) will now be known officially as a ‘Windows 8 application’. References to the ‘Metro user interface’ will now be replaced by ‘Windows 8 user interface’. And instead of saying ‘Metro design’, Microsoft and those adhering to their official guidelines will be using the words ‘Windows 8 design’”. Standard Windows applications that support multiple windows and run on your computers will be called ‘desktop apps’. Even the Windows Phone UI, where the word Metro first began to be used to describe the blocky UI, will now be known as the Windows Phone 8 UI.
Now to be formally known as the Windows 8 UI
We think Microsoft should simply have gone ahead and done something to retain the Metro moniker for its UI. Or it should at least have come up with a better, more distinguishable name than simply 'Windows 8'. This new name, we believe, could be quite confusing for both users and developers alike. If we were to have a new version of a programme, say VLC Media Player, for both Windows platforms, would the names of the two versions be, 'VLC Windows 8 app' and 'VLC Windows 8 desktop app'? Imagine the confusion such a naming system would create for uninitiated users.
Formerly known as Metro, the Windows 8 user interface was specifically designed for use with mobile phones, tablets and touchscreens. The PC-port of the operating system will also have the UI, which would enable apps designed specifically for the UI to work across platforms.
If you have installed the Windows 8 Release Preview on your system, it’s quite possible that you, like some of us, might not like the tiled interface on their non-touch PCs and laptops. We have a short tutorial on how to get rid of the Windows 8 (Metro) UI. You will need Windows 8 Metro UI Switcher, a portable utility, which can be downloaded from SuperUtils.com. Apart from this utility, a couple of manual tweaks are also explained in the tutorial.
Tech2 is now on WhatsApp. For all the buzz on the latest tech and science, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Tech2.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.