Microsoft has released a new OS, and in Japan that means new moe characters will be used to market the product to fans. The tradition of creating cute characters to represent computer OSes started on Japan’s 2ch BBS with a discussion about making a character who was “as unstable and prone to breakdowns as Windows Me.” This was the birth of “OS-tan” (-tan is the same as the cute -chan name ending, but pronounced like a cute child would), and characters representing all other major OSes soon followed. Microsoft got into the spirit of things by promoting Windows 7 with Nana Madobe, an official OS-tan, then added her cousin Claudia who represents the company’s cloud computing initiatives. With Windows 8 there are two new cousins, Yuu and Ai (you and I, get it?), one of whom (Ai-chan) is a classic tsundere. There’s even a family tree for the entire Microsoft OS family, including Kyuhachi (Nana’s father, representing Windows 98) and the venerable grandfather San’ichi (representing Windows 3.1). It remains to be seen if Japanese fans will embrace the official characters and create fanart about them, but if any (ahem) interesting doujinshi show up, we’ll be sure to carry them on J-List.
Windows 8 has new moe mascot characters.