Microsoft confirmed today that it will indeed be ditching the Metro branding for Windows 8, and said it plans to introduce a new brand sometime later this week. We had a feeling that something like this was going to happen, thanks to this week's leak of internal Microsoft memos which signaled such a change. Apparently, Microsoft's decision to dump the branding comes from talks with "an important European partner" that left the company without much choice in the matter. To put it simply, Microsoft probably picked the term "Metro" without realizing that one its partners already held the trademark.
So, now Windows 8 will get a bit of new branding. Metro was the term Microsoft used to describe the design and feel of Windows 8 and Windows RT, and don't expect the phrase to disappear overnight. Microsoft hit the ground running with this branding, mentioning the name Metro at every chance. Now that the term Metro has been used so much, it's going to be incredibly hard for Microsoft to flush it from the minds of those who have been following the development of Windows 8.
ComputerWorld points out that the "important European partner" may be Germany-based Metro AG. The company is the fifth-largest retailer in the world, so it isn't hard to imagine why it might be upset with Microsoft's choice of branding in this instance. Neither company will confirm nor deny this speculation, and Microsoft says that this change was not brought on by litigation. If the two companies were at odds over the Metro brand, Microsoft seems to have diffused the situation before it ended up in a court room.
We won't be waiting long for this new brand to arrive, as Microsoft's announcement that it will be coming "this week" means that the company will be revealing it either later today or tomorrow. Once this new brand arrives, expect Microsoft to begin using it as much as humanly possible. We'll have details on this new brand for you once Microsoft makes its announcement, so keep it tuned right here to SlashGear.