Look out, Harry Potter: Microsoft seems to be serious about its new charms.

Showing off Windows 8’s features for the first time last week, Microsoft used the words “charms” to describe the five icons that pop up in the right sidebar on touch screens (or the lower left when using a traditional keyboard and mouse).

The five charms are Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.

Sometimes the company uses a name such as this only internally, as a temporary code name for a feature, but for better or worse this one looks like it’s sticking around. As noted over the weekend by Robin Wauters of TechCrunch, Microsoft filed for a trademark on the word “Charm” related to computer operating systems on Sept. 12. (See below.)

That was the day before the Windows 8 unveiling last week at the Build conference in Anaheim.

It’s probably just a case of Microsoft wanting to protect the name of the feature, but is worth noting that “Windows 8” itself is just a code name for now. While it’s probably the front-runner for the official product name, we actually don’t know what this product is going to be called. And for whatever it’s worth, “Charm” is the only trademark filing we’ve seen so far related to the new operating system.

Hey, stranger things have happened.

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  • Mikech

    Does an icon by any other name, click as sweet?

  • Anonymous

    Windows 8 is just a code name? I thought it will be the official name of the OS. I wish Microsoft gives you the option to boot directly to the desktop, because I am one of the users that want the traditional desktop over the Metro UI. I like Metro, but I don’t want to use this in Windows.

    • Guest

      Don’t worry, Mike. You’ll be able.

  • John

    I think a few physicists may have something to say about this. 

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