About a year ago, Microsoft learned the power of moe mascots when their Windows 8 platform sold in record numbers in Japan. This was largely credited with the addition of the Madobe Sisters, Yuu and Ai.
Now they’re hoping lightning will strike twice and jolt some new life into their web browser Internet Explorer. As more and more people have flocked to browsers like Chrome and Firefox over the years, IE looked as though it was heading the way of Netscape thanks to sluggish speeds and compatibility problems.
However, IE’s newest mascot, Inori Aizawa promises and end to these design flaws along with some lasers and high speed robot battles.
Late last month, IE setup a facebook page for the 17-year-old (same as the browser) Inori Aizawa. They offered a sneak peak of her silhouette and an invitation to the Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2013 where she would make the following anime debut.
This video which was added online last night shows us some of IE’s features such as how that little shield that tells me I have updates ready to install can also protect me against robots armed with death rays. In addition, the Inori version of IE can quickly switch between several tabs at a time – and then turn them into laser bombs capable of obliterating and advancing army of battle drones. These are some significant improvements over previous iterations of the browser.
Around the same time Inori herself posted a rather self-aware message admitting to IE’s problems of the past and a pledge to have become something different.
“Hey everyone! My name is Inori and you can think of me as a personification of Internet Explorer.
When I was younger, I used to be a clumsy, slow and awkward girl.
However, just like the story of ugly duckling, people told me that I have really matured and changed over the years. I feel confident in my abilities now, and I’m eager to show you what I can do.
Why don’t you get to know me a little better?”
The video and character of Inori were both met with widespread approval from viewers some pronouncing their switching over to Microsoft. Others had admitted it was a stylish campaign but were still reluctant to go back to IE.
It’s still early days but it looks as if moe might have given Microsoft a boost in popularity yet again. If you want to try her out, install the latest version of Internet Explorer and head to internetexplorertan (with “tan” being a cute, very otaku, suffix like “chan”). Just don’t do it with another browser, or you’ll make her cry.
▼ Of course it wouldn’t be a moe mascot unveiling with someone doing a cosplay of Inori