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Metro Renamed Something Stupid

Microsoft is an amazing company with one huge but (fortunately) not fatal flaw -- it stinks at naming things.

The older names were fine: Word, Office, Windows. It's really lately that the names have been utter nonsense. Now forget the fact that it keeps renaming perfectly good products to keep us all confused. It even changed Hyper-v to Hyper-V (was this just to keep copy editors in business?).

Now Windows 8 has a new interface. This means the old interface can no longer just be called the Windows interface but is now called "Desktop." OK.

The new interface was called "metro," a meaningless name for a touch screen filled with a bunch of interactive blocks. But we got used to it. Not so fast. This was just a code name. The real name is Windows Store App. And yes, Windows Store App refers to the apps (where it makes perfect sense) as well as the interface. Let's see how this rolls off the tongue. Windows Store App interface. Windows Store App interface. Windows Store App user interface. The Windows Store App GUI. Smooth, eh?

Another little glitch -- not all of the Windows Store Apps come from the Windows Store. Enterprise apps are "side-loaded," meaning they don't go through the store. After all, why would you go to a store to buy your own app?

Even though metro didn't mean anything, it was fine. The lesson is code names are now officially a dumb idea. Aren't the computers themselves confusing enough, now we need to get certified in tracking all the names?

Posted by Doug Barney on 11/16/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 Tom Pittsburgh

So how about this as your answer: Windows SAPI (Pronounced Sappy). It makes complete sense when put that way. In fact, it is almost as descriptive as Windows itself...

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 TJ Austin

I'm with John. Ditching Windows finally after all these years and moving everything to Apple - phones, tablet, and laptop. I like how Apple has at least kept the 'desktop' GUI separate from the tablet and phone. It may be rough at first but once the transition is made, I can forget Microsoft altogether and enjoy a seamless working environment between them all. Now if I can locate a Sys Admin job with Apple ...

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 steve baltimore, md

Doug, It's an old story: they change the names to confuse the innocent. Seriously, though, isn't there more substantive information to write about than the 'lack' of naming conventions? Companies spend million of dollars on creating product names (take Tide for example - you don't think P&G spent any effort coming up with that name?) and shape whole advertising campaigns to get us used to the product name. And here you go and do it for free. Who's the smart one here?

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 John Phoenix, AZ

I'm learning to love my Mac Book Pro. At least the program names are intuitive. I should fully understand the Mac by the time Windows 7 is no longer supported.

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