back to article RIP Ninjacat: No longer fits in Windows 11 world

The Microsoft Windows Insider programme is preparing to bid farewell to the Ninjacat imagery, replacing the headband-wearing feline with something more akin to a corporate healthcare plan. While old favourites including Clippy seem to be enjoying a renaissance, Microsoft is set to shove its furry friend into the same cupboard …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the general concept of holding the Microsoft flag and being proud of what we're doing"

    Being proud of making users test your code ?

    That's a novel concept.

    1. EvilGardenGnome

      Re: "the general concept of holding the Microsoft flag and being proud of what we're doing"

      Every company makes you test their code. Microsoft just forces you to live with the consequences for years on end while doubling down on the borkage.

  2. Elledan

    Shooting the messenger

    So this is supposed to be an improvement rather than a marketing rebrand, then?

    With how the current Windows 11 Alpha lurched off the assembly table, I'm somehow not feeling very convinced that anything has fundamentally changed at MSFT. Heck, I'm still not convinced that MSFT cares even a little bit more about what end users want (including not losing data) than they did back in the Windows 7 days.

    This feels more like a constant rebrand cycle on the side of MSFT as they circle down towards inevitable doom, but refuse to face the fact that they themselves are the problem.

    But call me a cynical git :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shooting the messenger

      No, MS do care about you losing data. Because when they cause the loss of your data locally, they can say oops, but if you have been using azure / sharepoint / onedrive etc....

    2. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messenger

      MS are now in the same place as the mobile phone providers in the late '90s. Still want to see themselves as a technology company, but slowly realising that they're turning into a utility provider. Nothing wrong with that, just that MS' future is Azure and Office 365. Windows is a very valuable legacy with massive market share, but not part of MS future.

      1. PriorKnowledge

        Office 365 has a symbiotic relationship

        Without Windows, the competition can easily snag customers with the offer of tighter integration and more competitive support at a cheaper price. Even more so if desktop apps are taken out of the picture as the PWA Office apps still have dire limitations (10MB file size limit for Excel?) and key features missing (Teams doesn’t let you limit presence info or do half the things Skype/Lync allow).

        Right now, it would only take Google making a custom UI based around LibreOffice and branding it as their own desktop Office suite (with Drive integration) for there to be a credible threat. It’s Windows (and the Windows version of Microsoft Office) which provides a buffer against competitors. Without it, Office 365 is just another crippled web service.

  3. Dwarf Silver badge

    Yet another thing that Microsoft does that I don't give a flying f**k about.

    If only they would put as much effort into making their products reliable and do what their customers actually want, then they would get a better reputation.

    I wonder how many testers they could hire if they fired the marketing department and re-used the same marketing budget ?

  4. Tromos

    Keep the cat

    Ditch the rest

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Keep the cat

      yeah back in the day before Win'95 there was that wavy MS window flag thing that quickly became a multi-colored flag, but THEN it got all 2-tone 2D FLATTY FLATSO FLATASS (but at an ANGLE) for "Ape" and Win-10-nic.

      Windows prior to "Ape" had manga-like mascots aka "OS-tans" that were drawn by fans in a sort of comic that lampooned the fact that Win '95-tan couldn't do much and XP-tan ate lots of rice (labeled 'memory') and grew large breasts when she consumed enough. But then MS decided to do their OWN OS-tan for "Ape" (a pair of twins) that showed up in advertisements and displays in certain parts of the world (as I recall, saw the photos anyway) and as a DIRECT result, the entire OS-tan phenomenon VANISHED for the most part... aka "they RUINED it". (either that or people stopped benig fans of the OS after Windows "Ape" and Win-10-nic)

      Microsoft's market droids know NOTHING about engineering "geek" culture. No WONDER they wanna drown 'ninja cat' (and things like it). They have the coolness of a 40+ year old father of a teenage son trying to be "cool dad" by using "their lingo" (and then failing miserably at it). It was lame when OUR parents did it, and is STILL lame today. That's how UN-cool the market droids are, in reality.

      But, so far they haven't damaged the cat logo on github yet... (don't tell them)

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Keep the cat

        OS-tans are very cute in manga galleries, and generally mostly innocent, though as you indicate they are no longer a genre hardly at all --- perhaps with the mass move to mobile where in a world where desktops are less regarded.

        I always thought the concept of chibis, however delightful, was tarnished by association with something as creepy as Microsoft. Just like say, good things are sullied by Disney's exploitation.

  5. W.S.Gosset Silver badge


    I'm still waiting on the return of Apple's dogcow.

  6. HildyJ Silver badge

    Speaking the truth

    Microsoft's The Old New Thing blog admits NinjaCat was a joke slide in an internal presentation.

    What is much less boring and significantly more revealing is another joke slide from the presentation. Seriously, take a look.

    Org Chart

    Besides Microsoft's I think we can all appreciate their view of Oracle.

  7. The Empress

    Hopefully a dozen diversity executives argued for 6 months about this

    Because there is nothing more important than this

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