Amid reports claiming a German company may file a trademark suit, Microsoft appears to have dropped the 'Metro' name its been using to promote the new Windows 8 UI.

As of Thursday, the company is now referring to the user interface design as a "Windows 8-style UI" and a "New User Interface" rather than the Metro name it has been using for years in various capacities.

The swift change comes as rumours swirl that German retail giant Metro AG is preparing to take umbrage with Microsoft's naming conventions by getting its lawyers on the case.

Now Microsoft is advising developers not to use Metro and instead use the above replacements.

Metro-sensitive

A Microsoft statement on the matter claims, rather dubiously, that 'Metro style' was just a codename before the launch, potentially attempting to diffuse an unwanted courtroom battle.

The company says: "We have used 'Metro style' as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog we will use our commercial names."

The change has ramifications beyond Windows 8, which is due out at the end of October. Microsoft uses Metro to describe elements of its Windows Phone operating system and the Xbox 360 user interface.

It hasn't been the best day for Microsoft, despite Windows 8 now being complete. Earlier today we reported that the new operating system has already leaked to file-sharing sites.

Via: TIME