Microsoft Japan is getting serious about their anthropomorphic operating systems.
Until recently, these characters, also known as OS-tans, were nothing more than unofficial fan-made creations. However, as we saw last month with the popularity of the Windows 8 DSP edition, Microsoft has begun to embrace their anime mascots, perhaps realizing their marketing potential among the otaku, or nerd, demographic. And now, for the first time ever, Microsoft will be delving into the belly of the beast and running a booth at Japan’s largest comic book convention, Comic Market.
This December, visitors to Comic Market, also known as Comiket, will be able to purchase a slew of limited-edition Windows anime character goods and computer peripherals. Microsoft has also hinted that they will be selling a special Windows 8 PC made in collaboration with a “certain anime property.” No clue as to what anime it could be, but the more pressing question is: who goes to a comic convention to buy a new PC?
If spending money isn’t your thing, there will also be plenty of swag and hot girls cosplaying— this is an otaku convention, after all.
The decision to hold a booth at this year’s Comiket came as a result of the adoption of Microsoft’s cloud service system, Windows Azure, to distribute the first ever digital version of the notoriously thick Comiket exhibition catalog.
While we can certainly expect to see Windows 8 sisters Yuu and Ai Madobe, Microsoft also promises that their Windows Azure mascot character, Claudia, will be in attendance as well to promote her handiwork.
Claudia is a 26-year-old novice systems engineer and firm advocate of Windows Azure as a hassle-free way to deal with time-consuming issues like hardware maintenance, patches and upgrades.
Last year, Microsoft Japan launched a manga web series to promote Windows Azure called Cloud Girl. In the series, Claudia personifies the Windows Azure cloud service as she solves a variety of network and administrative problems. Her cousin and Windows 7 mascot, Nanami Madobe, also makes an appearance as a troubled computer shop employee:
This winter’s Comiket will be held from December 29 to December 31 at Tokyo Big Site. Attendance is free but be prepared for long lines and huge crowds. The Microsoft booth will be on the fourth floor of the western exhibition hall. Check the official website for more information.