On Tuesday, members of the Windows Insider program — Microsoft’s volunteer program where people put the early versions of Windows 10 through their paces — officially adopted the “ninjacat” as their mascot ahead of the July 29th release of Windows 10.
The ninjacat made its first appearance earlier this year on a sticker that was initially only available to Microsoft employees featuring the feline hero riding a majestic fire-breathing unicorn into battle.
The Internet went nuts, demanding to know where they could get one, too. Soon, ninjacat became the wink-wink, nudge-nudge mascot and rallying point for Microsoft fans in the Windows 10 preview program, with people creating all kinds of mash-ups.
Today, Microsoft released three new wallpapers via its blog, intended to thank Windows Insiders for their service by giving the loyal ninjacat a pair of new rides.
(This one is a reference to a Reddit catchphrase: “The bacon narwhals at midnight,” intended to be used to signal someone in the real world that you, too, use Reddit.)
With those claws extending his reach, that T-Rex is unstoppable.
The best part, however, is that if you type (win10) or (windows10) in a Microsoft Skype instant message starting today, you get this sweet ninjacat animated emoticon, as captured in GIF form by The Verge:
It’s a fun way for Microsoft to celebrate Windows Insider ahead of the Windows 10 launch next week, important because that testing program is a big part of Microsoft’s strategy of testing every part of the new operating system so there are fewer bad surprises for mainstream users.
Plus, it’s a ninjacat riding a tyrannosaurus, which really speaks for itself.