“My name is Inori and I’m an anime personification for Internet Explorer! Shall we explore the web?”
“Anime personifications” of random things are unfortunately an established phenomenon in Asia, via (of course) Japan. They’re rarely sane and often pervy. Now Microsoft has come along to smear the anime personification scene with their own unique stink of creepy and slightly out of touch trying too hard uncle-ness. This goggle-eyed, barely legal character in the orthodox moe style– who apparently also needs to wear a compression garment on her arm to manage the excruciating pain of her RSI… nice touch, lucky nobody at Microsoft noticed– is Inori Aizawa (藍澤 祈) and she has a Facebook page where she talks as if she’s a real person:
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?
At least it’s nice to know that they know Windows Explorer has been a load of shit for years and everyone in their right mind hates it. There’s also a video where she shoots lasers from her hands and almost but not quite gives drooling otaku the chance to look up her skirt. The semiotic slippage between her being a person, a “personification”, Windows Explorer itself, and a sex object leads to uncomfortable suggestions like “Please try it out and let me know what you think ;)” it being Explorer, i.e. herself, Inori Aizawa. Just a reminder to Microsoft and/or internet perverts: you don’t try a person out. The picture below is captioned “See anything you like?”
However ill-advised it may be, the Inori marketing campaign is still nowhere near as bad as some of Microsoft’s even more tone-deaf Western marketing efforts, which are clearly made in a Yes Man vacuum into which no sane person ever has any input. Remember, dozens of people including senior executives must have signed off on horrors like the video below, where four dead-eyed actors who probably wanted to kill themselves afterwards issue North Korea-style directives about how much you can, must and will enjoy Microsoft’s new operating system at “Windows 7 parties” just like the ones they didn’t have because they are merely Z-list actors desperate for work, and anyway not a single real person on Earth ever had or wanted to have a Windows 7 party.
The malfunctioning and subtly belligerent colour-coded replicants (Slight Nerd, Silicone Grandma, Passive Aggressive MILF and I’m Really Their Middle Class African-American Friend) signify their enjoyment of Windows 7 LIKE HU-MANS by tittering mirthlessly and randomly throughout the video, or bantering with barely disguised hostility. They carefully steer clear of showing Windows 7 itself or what it does, or explaining why anybody would want it. They do, however, suggest that you’ll need to leave the HELP page open. Uh oh. If every single one of your organs doesn’t shrivel with embarrassment when you watch this commercial, you have already been taken over and you are one of the Pod People depicted therein.
If you really want to give yourself the creeps, you could watch it again but imagine that all the talk about parties, activities, videos, devices, etc. is actually related to promiscuous sexual intercourse at a Windows 7 orgy. “We. Have tried. Them all. Right?” “We each made a point of shooting.” “I named the person who would be first to have the hands-on activity.” etc.