Not quite. There is no such thing as "the GNOME window manager". Metacity is just one of many window managers that have good GNOME support. Others are Enlightenment, Sawfish and IceWM.
Metacity is a window manager that integrates nicely with GNOME 2. Originally an experiment, it's now turning out to be halfway usable and lots of people are using it, though there are still some caveats - be sure to read the README.It's very different from KDE, where the window manager is an integral part of the project, even though it can be replaced.
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