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The concept of the OS-tan is reported to have begun as a personification of the common perception of Windows Me (Released in 2000 by Microsoft as the 9x counterpart to Windows 2000) as unstable and prone to frequent crashes. Discussions on Futaba Channel likened this to the stereotype of a fickle, troublesome girl and as this personification expanded Me-tan was created and followed by the other characters.

Though initially appearing only in fan works, the OS-tan proved popular enough that Microsoft branches in Singapore and Taiwan used the OS-tan concept as the basis for ad campaigns for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Silverlight, respectively.