The OS-tan (short for Operating System-tan) is a Moe Anthropomorphism
of various Windows operating systems (or at least that's how it started out), and is now a common feature on the Japanese Futaba Channel (where they originated). In fact, web browsers, antivirus programs, and other applications have gotten similiar treatment.
The -tan is a deliberate mistranslation of the -chan suffix, as it's supposed to sound like something said by a small child (hence evoking cuteness)
Originally, the first OS-Tan was Windows ME-tan, who was drawn as a cute Idiot Haired Dojikko
to represent how the actual Windows ME was highly unstable. Afterwards, several more Windows OS-tans were made, and eventually the premise exploded to making moe
versions of almost every OS or popular piece of hardware in existence. The cult popularity of the OS-tan characters led to Microsoft Japan creating Madobe Nanami, an official OS-tan
, as a spokesperson for Windows 7.
In fact, this little phenomenon even sparked a fake trailer for an anime series called Trouble Windows
, which has also been licensed as a name for artbooks depicting the OS-tans.
Video of the Trouble Windows trailer here
Tropes common to the OS-tans are:
- Aloof Dark Haired Girl: Windows 2K-tan is often drawn this way, though XP-tan also has this look on occasion.
- Ascended Meme: Windows 7-tan was given an official personification, Nanami Madobe. Windows 8 has TWO of them, named Madobe Ai and Madobe Yuu.
- Big Eater: XP-Tan, who often is shown holding up a big rice bowl labeled "Memory".
- Brother-Sister Incest: Homeko [XP Home Edition] has a crush on her Spear Counterpart brother "Homeo".
- Canon Foreigner: Windows 1.0, 2.0, and 3.2 (Chinese 3.1) -tan are regarded as this in fan works.
- Cat Girl: Windows 2000-tan's hair clips make her look like one.
- The latest Mac OS-tan's are all Cat Girls due to their production codenames.
- Depraved Bisexual: Dr. Norton [Antivirus] is drawn as an ugly perverted ghost [after the Norton Ghost program] who keeps trying to ogle the Windows-tans at every opportunity, with XP-tan being his preferred victim. He also has an implied fetish for Bill Gates.
- Dojikko: ME-tan, representing how the system was liable to crash.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: How Windows 3.1-tan is often drawn.
- Cute Kitten: Windows 3.1-tan is always depicted holding a cute black kitten labeled "DOS".
- Hair Decorations: Nearly all the -tans have hair accessories, usually a cute stylized version of the logo of what they represent.
- Fangirl: Windows CE-tan is a big In-Universe fan girl of the Dreamcast, as a variant on the CE OS code was used as the Dreamcast BIOS.
- Fiery Redhead: Windows 95-tan when mad.
- Furry Fandom (What the web browser Firefox and its companion email client Thunderbird are designed after)
- Girl with Psycho Weapon (SE-tan and her can opener, wielded with intent to castrate)
- Humongous Mecha (Windows 98 and 98SE-tan commonly ride around in ones that resemble snack boxes)
- Hospital Hottie (Miss Mc Afee [Antivirus] and AVG [Antivirus], who are both drawn as attractive, with the former being drawn as a monocled British woman and the latter as a good looking male student doctor)
- Improbable Weapon User: ME-tan often uses a leek for self defense. SE-tan uses a can opener.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Vista-tan has this look as a premise.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Windows 95-tan's katana represents her dominance over all rival systems of the time.
- Lady of War: Windows 95-tan.
- Meganekko: Windows 2K-tan.
- Moe Anthropomorphism: Usually as a cute girl or woman, though male versions exist.
- Punny Name: Nanami Madobe means "Windows 7".
- NT-tan (NT 3.1/3.5/4.0) is called Inut-tan, as the pronunciation is very similiar to the Japanese word "Inu", which means dog. In fact, NT-tan is often drawn as a cheerful girl with dog ears)
- Serious Business: Windows 95-tan, in reference to how Windows 95 started off Microsoft's opening shot in its war to outdo Macintosh, gets downright Knight Templar when it comes to fighting Mac OS-tan's.
- Shrinking Violet: Windows 3.1, DOS-tan and Linux-tan are depicted like this.
- Spear Counterpart: Many OS-tan's originally drawn as girls have male counterparts.
- Stripperific: Vista-tan, due to the fact her clothes are transparent, in reference to the "Windows Aeroglass" theme.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Mac OS uses bombs as an attack.
- Team Mom: Windows 95 and 2K-tan assume this role for the Windows OS-tans.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: Windows 3.1-tan and some versions of Vista-tan look like this.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Homeko-tan.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: 98-tan and 2K-tan have blue hair, ME-tan and and 98 SE-tan have green.
- The Wiki Rule: Besides having a page on The Other Wiki, there is an entire OS Tan Wiki.
- Zettai Ryouiki: We have XP-tan, 7-tan among others.