Aizawa Inori: Microsoft’s official IE-tan

Internet Explorer 11 was released two weeks ago (no, I haven’t heard of it just now; I just haven’t had the time to really write anything for it). Accompanying the release, Microsoft Singapore unveiled a moe personification of IE to promote IE. Ever since Madobe Nanami was made for Windows 7, it seems that Microsoft has really taken a liking to these anime characters.

Her name is Aizawa Inori / 藍澤 祈 (the family name is Aizawa).

Aizawa Inori on her desktop

Aizawa Inori on her desktop


(There are many references hidden in that image. Bonus points to anyone who can point them all out!)

Aizawa Inori concept sketches

Concept sketches


Before I move on, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not encouraging the use of Internet Explorer.

To quote her Facebook page:

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?

By “get to know me a little better”, she means to try to convince you to use Internet Explorer. Don’t fall into the trap. IE is still IE, no matter how cute you make it.

She was introduced with a video for the Anime Festival Asia (AFA):


Anime Festival Asia Special Video – feat. Inori Aizawa by internetexplorer [YouTube]

If you look closely, you’ll see many hidden references in that video.

As with Microsoft’s other *-tans, Inori’s name carries significance. Her family name, “Aizawa”, is the same as that of Hikaru, the personification of Microsoft Silverlight. This suggests that they’re related, and indeed, Inori and Hikaru are cousins.
“Inori” means “prayer”, and this is basically what Inori is meant to be for Microsoft.
Perhaps even more clever, say the first syllable of each of her names in succession. That is, “Ai / アイ” [a̠i] and “I / イ” [i]. What does it sound like? That’s right, “IE”!

Microsoft has made some goodies available for download, most notably some wallpapers and a special Inori-branded version of Internet Explorer (if you already have IE11, all it does is set your homepage to http://internetexplorertan.com/home, adds a few anime-related search providers, and adds a folder of anime-related bookmarks).

Aizawa Inori: Microsoft’s official IE-tan.


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