The naming issue: Metro Style-Apps, Windows 8 Style-Apps, Modern UI-Style Apps or Windows Store-Apps?

This post is part of a series about creating Windows Store-apps with XAML and C#. Find the Content of the series here:
Windows Store-apps with XAML and C# blog-series

Through the past weeks there’ve been many names around for the apps running in the new tile-based User Interface of Windows 8. This blog-post tries to clarify about the different names and what the apps are called now.

In the beginning of the Windows 8 Preview era those apps running in the new tile-bases UI have been called Metro Style-Apps, and the whole new tile-based UI was called the Metro UI. Some days before Windows 8 went RTM, there was an issue with that name, because a German company reselling technical stuff like computers etc. already got the name Metro AG. Metro AG owns “Saturn” and “Media Markt”, two of the biggest hardware-resellers in Germany. And the management of the Metro AG was not happy with the usage of their name for Microsoft new tile-based UI. But the Metro AG never gave an official statement on that topic. Microsoft knows that the Metro AG is important for them, and they just said: “Metro was just a Codename”. Dot. If you’ve started with Windows Phone 7, you probably know that the tile-based UI was introduced there and was called Metro. So this “Metro was just a Codename” statement is not the whole truth, but that’s all Microsoft said. Seems like no-one want’s to produce big waves. In fact, shortly before the RTM Version of Windows 8 Microsoft had to avoid any long-running legal fights, so I think that’s one of the biggest reasons for the simple silent “Metro was just a Codename”-statement.

After the name Metro was dropped, Microsoft said, that developers shouldn’t use the name Metro anymore. Even Apps for the Windows Store will fail certification if they contain the name Metro. I’m not sure what will happen when Metro AG places an App in the Windows Store. :-)

OK, so the name Metro was dropped. The problem for developers, writers and all people talking about the new apps was that Microsoft didn’t provide a new name. Temporarily they called the apps Windows 8 Style-Apps or just Windows 8-apps. That was a bad idea, because when there’ll be a Windows 9 the apps for the tile-based UI will be called Windows 8-apps?! Not so good. This was recognized soon and there has been another name around for the tile-based UI: Modern UI. The new tile-based UI was just called the Modern UI, and the apps that run in that UI were called Modern UI-Style apps. But Microsoft also never officially confirmed that. Due to this naming-issue some developers called their apps just WinRT-apps, because the apps make use of the new object-oriented Windwos API called WinRT (Windows Runtime).

When the RTM version of Visual Studio 2012 came out in the mid of august 2012, the first thing I did was to look how Microsoft has named the apps for the Modern UI in the “New Project”-Dialog of Visual Studio 2012. I was really curious about that. And what a suprise, there was another name: Windows Store-apps. And that’s the name how we developers should call the apps today.

On the developer-portal (http://dev.windows.com) microsoft had still the name Metro. Since last week there’s also the new name Windows Store-apps. Even in the forums they are now talking no more about Metro Style-apps, but about Windows Store-apps (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/windowsapps). That’s a statement from Microsoft that they will keep this name for the future. Yes.

So, let’s wrap it up:

  • Modern UI
    the tile-based surface in Windows 8 and in Windows Phone 7/8.
  • Windows Store-apps
    apps that run in the Modern UI on a Windows 8 PC/Tablet are sold over the Windows Store and so they are called Windows Store-apps.

It’s just as easy. :)

Windows Store-apps with XAML and C# – blog series

Since yesterday evening Winodws 8 RTM is out for developers. This blogpost is the start of a blog-series about developing Windows Store-apps with XAML and C#. The series consists of some informational and some “how-to” posts:

More topics will come. If you’ve topics not listed above you want to read about, write a comment on this post.

The first post about XAML will be written till saturday evening

Thomas