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Microsoft confirms dumping 'Metro' brand from Windows 8

August 3, 2012 02:09 PM ET

And that was a major mistake, said Moorhead.

"I believe it will take years to leach 'Metro' out of the industry nomenclature," Moorhead said.

Several reports named Metro AG, a Dusseldorf, Germany-based conglomerate that's the world's fifth-largest retailer, as the origin of the complaints that led Microsoft to dump Metro.

A Metro AG spokesman declined to comment, saying, "we generally do not comment on market rumours."

Microsoft said that the change was not the result of litigation, but declined to answer a follow-up question whether Metro's departure was due to simply the threat of litigation, perhaps related to trademark or copyright issues.

The Microsoft spokeswoman also declined to name the "important Microsoft partner" mentioned in the internal memo cited by The Verge.

Dropping Metro as a brand will let Microsoft play to its strength -- the Windows brand -- said Moorhead. "Any effort or dollars invested in the Metro brand is taken away from the Windows brand," he said. "Fortunately for Microsoft, they build awareness, familiarity, and in some cases even preference for a 'Windows UI.'"

But that brand value will be lost, Moorhead claimed, because of the likelihood that "Metro" will be hard to kill.

Microsoft has its work cut out for it: On Wednesday, it announced Windows 8 had reached the RTM (release to manufacturing) milestone, with copies reaching developers, IT professionals and corporations in less than two weeks.

Windows 8 goes on sale, as do Windows 8- and Windows RT-powered PCs and tablets, on Oct. 26.

covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at Twitter @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed Keizer RSS. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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