Monthly Archives: November 2013


A long while ago, I came across the OS-tan idea. It’s a very Japanese concept – creating characters based on software. The first version of this I came across is the attached image – various versions of Windows as anime-style characters.

Background, left hand side (clockwise from top left): Windows 98 (in the box), Windows 95 (wearing kimono), Symantec Antivirus (male), Windows 2000 (in front of Symantec), Windows Server 2003 (fish outfit, attacked by black cat), Windows NT (close to usual appearance, but has blue hair and a blue dress), Windows XP (holding her skirt down). Background, right hand side: Windows 3.1 and DOS (neither unusual representation is the “official” os-tan for each[clarification needed]). Foreground: Windows CE (left, fairy in light green outfit with USB wand), Windows ME (right, green hair, levitated by CE). Group image of the OS-tans, used under fair use. Artists: Sorenarini Toshiaki (illustration and finish) background Sore-Aki.
This has been expanded and there are various variants of the idea across the full range of OSes with some other software tagged in for good measure. It’s also no longer a solely Japanese concept as Western artists have picked up their pens as well.

What I find interesting today is that Microsoft has embraced the concept. In their new Asian marketing push (which they’ve also pushed across to their Western customers), they’ve introduced a robot-fighting (robots = androids; Android = Google) ass-kicking heroine (complete with naked transformation sequence). You can check her out in this video:

She’s got a Facebook page, with Japanese-style information. She’s got a real life actor that’s at the Asian trade show and her own theme tune. They’ve even given her a background that meshes with the idea that IE used to be slow and clunky but now it’s fast and awesome.

I recommend checking out the video. I don’t recommend the browser. I’m interested in seeing how this alternative marketing campaign works out for Microsoft.