Metro – Modern – Universal and now just Windows apps

Metro – Modern – Universal and now just Windows apps

A journey over two years in the making!

I remember being so excited about the term Metro when Windows 8 was coming out.  I even had the opportunity to sit in on a presentation during an MVP Summit and hear about the new take on interface design from someone on the team creating it for Windows Phone.

However, if things had only been so smooth. Instead there was mass confusion on what programs from the new Windows Store would be called and what the design language would be called. This happened because after Microsoft had started using the term Metro to describe their soon to be released Windows 8 interface they ran into a snag.

That snag, according to Tom Warren at the time, was an important European partner and so Microsoft decided to stop using the term.

I always found it interesting that when the Metro term was used around Windows Phone there were no concerns from a European partner but when it was being used in reference to Windows then their ears perked up rather quickly.

Anyway – bottom line is that was the beginning of the confusion around what to call the interface itself and the programs coming from the new Windows Store that was part of Windows 8.

Metro apps then became Windows Store apps which ultimately settled in on Modern apps. In fact, they continue to be used interchangeably even now. These terms were used in reference to any application that was downloaded and installed from the Windows Store.  These apps in Windows 8/8.1 could only be run in full screen mode or snapped with other apps/windows.

Then as Microsoft began the push to build just one Windows and give developers the ability to have one core set of code for their apps that could run on multiple Windows devices the term Universal apps began to be used.

During WinHec last week, which really resulted in a smorgasbord of info about the future of Windows 10, Don Box one of Microsoft’s Distinguished Engineers presented a briefing entitled Developing for the Windows 10 Device Platform.

One of his slides may have clarified exactly what name should be used moving forward:

Windows apps defined

So start practicing now before the naming scheme changes again as it seems Microsoft has not had a run of good luck when it comes to this process.

OK – maybe Cortana is an exception and then Spartan if that is what they decide to name the new web browser in Windows 10.

Source: Channel 9 via

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