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DMM’s battleship moe mega-blockbuster Kantai Collection is reputedly the (only) reason Microsoft’s Windows tablets enjoy a 15% market share in Japan where elsewhere they languish under Google’s boot with a pathetic 2%.

Despite (or perhaps because of) Japan’s reputation as a “Galapagos” IT eco-system and nation of Apple fanciers, it is the one nation in the world Microsoft’s much loathed foray into the tablet market seems to have borne fruit.

Market research in fact suggests the market share enjoyed by Windows tablets stands at 15% as of February, up from a more typical 3% only a year ago (Gartner has the current share in the US is a risible 2%, a poor return for the complete sacrifice of Windows 8).

Nowhere else have Microsoft’s tablets enjoyed such a boost in popularity – and with the same hardware, apps and marketing as elsewhere experts consider there to be only one distinctive characteristic Japan possesses which could explain this otherwise disturbingly inexplicable (or just plain disturbing) rise – improbably, the existence of Kantai Collection in the Japanese market, released about the time tablet sales took off and heralded as the ideal platform for leveling Shimakaze and friends.

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Kantai Collection, with 1.7 million Japanese players and Windows as the officially recommended platform, may be a plausible driver for these sales, not least when notebooks are regarded as too inconvenient for play on the move and the models regarded as the “go-to” tablets for KanKore players have all enjoyed mysteriously strong sales, with the preferred Miix2 8 considered the best and the top selling Windows tablet for the last 3 months, vastly exceeding Lenovo’s sales estimates.

Neither Microsoft nor DMM for their part have commented, but it is easy to imagine Microsoft being less than thrilled that the only reason their tablets are hot items anywhere is due to a thong-clad destroyer’s appearance in a browser game.


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