SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has published a guide for developers who want to build applications for Windows 8 but are unsure of what names they are allowed to use.
The message, in short, is do not make any reference to Metro, the formerly promoted user interface name from which the firm is trying to distance itself.
Although there are suggestions that someone else with a right to the name has stopped Microsoft from using it, the company said that moving away from Metro as the name of its new user interface design was always part of its plans.
The Markedup blog drew the world's attention to the text that read, "Make sure your app name doesn't include the word metro. Apps with a name that includes the word metro will fail certification and won't be listed in the Windows Store."
Since then though the statement has been rather watered down, and the mention of Metro removed.
In perhaps a nod to the fact that it has been the victim of a trademark complaint already, the firm now says, "Don't use names trademarked by others," where we presume the mention of Metro once stood.
"Make sure to select a name for your app that belongs to you. If you use a name that doesn't belong to you, the owner of that name could have your app removed from the store," it adds.
"If that happens, you would need to change the name of your app and all instances of the name throughout your app and its content before you can submit your app for certification again."
However, Microsoft might have to work a bit harder than that to remove all traces of the word Metro from its material. This page, after all, is headed up by the title, "Dev Center - Metro style apps," something that suggests that not all parts of the web site and content management system are following the new Microsoft Newspeak rules.
Microsoft is still trotting out its regular statement on the Metro name and is refusing to commit to saying anything else about why it has stopped using it or what it plans to call.
"We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines," said a spokesperson again today. "As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names." µ