Microsoft downplays Metro design name, might face a lawsuit over all that street lingo

If you've seen most of Microsoft's design language for nearly three years, there's only one word that sums it up: Metro. In spite of that urban look being the underpinning of Windows Phone, Windows 8 and even the Zune HD, Microsoft now claims to ZDNet and others that it's no longer fond of the Metro badge. Instead, it's supposedly phasing out the name as part of a "transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog" while it starts shipping related products -- a funny statement for a company that's been shipping some of those products for quite awhile. Digging a little deeper, there's murmurs that the shift might not be voluntary. Both Ars Technica and The Verge hear from unverified sources that German retailer Metro AG might waving its legal guns and forcing Microsoft to quiet down over a potential (if questionable) trademark dispute. Metro AG itself won't comment other than to say that these are "market rumors," which doesn't exactly calm any frayed nerves over in Redmond. Should there be any truth to the story, we hope Microsoft chooses an equally catchy name for those tiles later on; Windows Street Sign Interface Windows 8-style UI just wouldn't have the same ring to it.