Microsoft banning apps with Metro from Windows 8 store. Windows Phone next? [Updated]

Update: The anti-metro wording has now been removed from the MSDN site and sources have told us that in fact, that wording had always been there but was just noticed today. Microsoft has no guidance for us on this matter meaning so far it does not seem to be affecting Windows Phone or Windows 8 developers. 

It looks like the other shoe has dropped on the ongoing yet nearly silent saga of the Metro-name for Microsoft. Previous reports suggested that Microsoft were instructing employees to stop using the word ‘Metro’ in describing their new UI paradigm. That UI grew out of Windows Phone and has now taken over Windows 8 desktop and the Xbox 360. The reason for the change was allegedly inspired by a complaint by the German company MetroAG.

Reports also began circulating that Microsoft would soon begin scrubbing the name Metro from all developer documentation and would start to use either ‘modern’, ‘modern UI’ or ‘Windows 8 style’ instead. But the question naturally forced itself into an ugly area: What about current apps with Metro in the name?

New documentation found in the Windows 8 Dev Center strongly caution against using ‘metro’ in any app names, noting that doing so will cause the app to fail certification:

“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.”

Now we must caution that this is only for Windows 8 apps in the Microsoft Store but is there really any reason to believe that it won’t extend to Windows Phone in the near future?

If so, many popular apps on Windows Phone will have to undergo a new name change akin to the Google-YouTube row that hit earlier this year. That latter case caused many apps like YouTube Pro and gMaps to either be re-named or have infringing references to Google removed. A cursory glance of some popular apps on Windows Phone that could be impacted by such a draconian measure include:

  • MetroRadio (Pandora)
  • MetroTube (YouTube)
  • Metrogram (Instagram)
  • Metro Lockscreen
  • Metro Web Browser
  • Metro Stopwatch
  • Metro Ringtones
  • MetrofaceLIFT (wallpaper)
  • BlackJack Metro
  • MetroTalk
  • Metro Wall
  • MetroTime
  • Checkbook Metro

Needless to say there are quite a few app titles that will presumably need to be re-worked to continue being offered in the Windows Phone Store.

We’re reaching out to Microsoft for clarification on the matter and will update if we have more to report.

Source: MSDN; via iStartedSomething

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.