In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced the Metro design language to build apps, but since then it’s been very confusing on how the company refers to this kind of applications. We heard Microsoft calling them “Metro Style Apps” and “Windows Store Apps”, after a while due to some legal problems, the company stopped mentioning the word “Metro” and it began using the “Modern apps” wording.
Since the company started using the word “Modern”, we simply referred them as “Modern apps”. Then Windows 10 emerged and so the Universal apps came along, which is a new app model that follows the idea that allows developers to write code once and run apps on all Windows 10 devices (e.g., PC, tablet, and phone). As you see, everything gets a little confusing, but today Microsoft is making changes and putting an official name to its apps.
Moving forward, Microsoft will simply call them “Windows apps” and all other software that can only run on the desktop environment (Win32) (e.g., Photoshop, Google Chrome, iTunes, etc.) will be known as “Windows desktop applications”.
According to a slide, which you can see below, describes the naming changes Microsoft is making moving forward with Windows 10.
Finally a new naming scheme that makes more sense. So the next time you read “Windows apps”, it will be referring to all the apps running on device powered by Windows, including computers, Xbox, and phones.
It’s hard to think that Microsoft is changing the name of its apps just simply because it’s user-friendly, marketing plays a big role too, by keeping “Windows” at the heart of the name; it immediately identifies the brand and where those apps can be installed, something that was a little difficult to accomplish with Universal apps or any other naming scheme.