Did you know that in Japan, Microsoft actually has official anime-like moe (cute) mascots for each of its operating systems? While the whole world is looking forward to the much-awaited Windows 8 to be released, Japanese techno-enthusiasts and otakus alike have been also waiting for their mascots. And here they are!
Even Microsoft is jumping for the Japanese market, huh? Or rather, one could call it making use of the opportunities the Japanese culture has proven profitable in the past three decades. The anime and manga industry isn’t something to be considered miniscule, after all. They even went as far as making a manga named Cloud Girl – Mado to Kumo to Aoi Sora to explain the Windows Azure cloud services system. There’s also Microsoft Taiwan who created still another moe mascot character, Hikaru Aizawa, for the Microsoft Silverlight application framework.
From Anime News Network:
“The DSP edition of Windows 8 Pro 64bit will be available on October 26 in a launch pack with two character versions: Madobe Yū and Madobe Ai. Both versions will include theme pack wallpaper, event sounds in the respective character’s voice, and a Microsoft Wedge touch Mouse with the Windows 8 logo. The packs will retail at 19,980 yen (about US$255) each. Both versions will include theme pack wallpaper, event sounds in the respective character’s voice, and a Microsoft Wedge touch Mouse with the Windows 8 logo.
The packs will retail at 19,980 yen (about US$255) each. In addition, Limited Akihabara Editions of both versions will be offered in Tokyo’s Akihabara shopping district with additional exclusive voice samples. The bundled mouse in each Limited Akihabara Edition will have an illustration of its respective character.”
Note: DSP, or Delivery Service Partner, is a version of Windows without the manufacturer’s stamp unlike the OEM edition (Original Equipment Manufacturer), where the easiest example would be the manufacturer’s logo on the start-up screen and desktop wallpaper (e.g. Lenovo, HP, etc.) Having said that, the DSP edition is aimed for custom system builders with “no-name” or clone computers.
Similar to how Windows 7 mascot Madobe Nanami was interpreted as “by the window” (Madobe) and “seven” (Nana), Yuu and Ai are homonyms of the English words “you” and “I.” Though it hasn’t been stated what the relationship between Nanami and the two new mascots.