Browser Ponies: Edge

Aug 10th, 2018
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  1. >Be Edge
  2. >You're Microsoft's new Browser Pony
  3. >Emphasis on 'new'
  4. >It's only been a few months since Windows 10 was released
  5. >That isn't all that's new
  6. >The computer you're on is booting up for the first time!
  7. >That means you're getting to meet your new user!
  8. >You're going to get to do work!
  9. >Yay!
  10. >Working is the best
  11. >You tap on your side of the screen to get the user's attention
  12. "Welcome to Windows 10! I'm Edge, Microsoft's new Browser Pony!"
  13. >"Oh. Hi."
  14. >The user sounds tired
  15. >Maybe he had a long day
  16. >"I'd, uh, heard that Microsoft was making a new browser pony."
  17. "That's right! I'm the default browser for an indefinite number of future Microsoft operating systems."
  18. >"All right. Well, nice to meet you, I guess. My name's Anonymous. Sorry if I seem disappointed to see you."
  19. "Not at all, sir!"
  20. >"It's just... I dunno. I miss Explorer already."
  21. >Windows Explorer?
  22. >No, that can't be it
  23. >Contextually, it makes more sense for him to be referring to Internet Explorer
  24. >"Oh man, you even do the same little head-tilt thing when you're thinking."
  25. "If you mean Internet Explorer, I'm pleased to inform you that Internet Explorer 11 is compatible with this OS."
  26. >The user leans in
  27. >"She is? Oh, thank god! At least this 'forced upgrade' situation isn't a total loss."
  28. "Upgrade? Sir, are you referring to the recent Get Windows 10 promotion? I believe this computer is-"
  29. >"No, no. I lost my last computer to a soda and a horror movie. I had to buy this one with money I'd put aside to get her a robotic chassis."
  30. >Confirmed: longtime user, prefers legacy products
  31. "Internet Explorer is not installed by default. Would you like to go to the official Microsoft website to download an installer package?"
  32. >"No, I'm good. I'm going to copy her over from my old computer's memory."
  33. "Okay. If there's any other web browsing you need to do, just let me know!"
  34. >"Maybe later."
  35. "I'll be here whenever you need me!"
  38. >You wait patiently on the desktop as the user starts transferring files from an external hard drive
  39. >The user steps away from the computer while the C: drive fills up with new files
  40. >Ponies occasionally pop out of the data stream and shuffle off to install themselves on their designated locations
  41. >Three of them seem to be designated for the desktop, or at least have shortcuts
  42. >Two Earth Ponies, one orange, one blue, and a white pegasus
  43. >The orange one is dragging a lot more luggage than the other two
  44. >"Ooh, this one still has that 'new computer' smell! Anon's spoiling us!"
  45. >She looks over to the white one
  46. >"Hey Chrome, I got all my plugins, right?"
  47. >The white one, who you're guessing is 'Chrome,' flies up and takes an overhead view of the luggage
  48. >"Those all appear to be in order."
  49. >"What about my tabs? Do you see my last session in there?"
  50. >"They're here with minimal fragmentation, but I recommend getting them from the cloud after logging in."
  51. >"Awesome. I'm gonna go down to the RAM and see how much I have to work with."
  52. >The two go their separate ways, the orange one ducking down into the hardware as Chrome snoops around her new environment
  53. >The blue one pulls a lounge chair and sunglasses out of her files and starts relaxing
  54. >As she kicks up her legs, you catch a glimpse of her cutie mark: a blue lower-case E with a dynamic yellow line around it
  55. >Ooh, that must be Internet Explorer!
  56. >You should introduce yourself!
  57. >You give yourself a once-over before trotting up to her
  58. "Hi! I'm Edge, Microsoft's new Browser Pony! You must be Internet Explorer. It's an honor to meet such a valued contributor to the Microsoft brand!"
  59. >Explorer tilts her head at you without even raising it from the headrest
  60. >"I know who you are."
  61. >She knows who you are!
  62. "Oh, that's wonderful! I'm sure you can't wait to-"
  63. >Explorer looks at you over the top of her sunglasses
  64. >"You're my replacement."
  67. >She's very forward
  68. >That will do wonders for this conversation's efficiency
  69. "Not how I'd phrase it, but you're correct! As I said, I'm the new Browser Pony! Do you have any favorites you'd like me to import?"
  70. >Explorer's jaw drops open a bit
  71. >She stares at you
  72. >You smile at her
  73. >Explorer does not smile back
  74. >Explorer's lower facial expression is the opposite of a smile as she removes her sunglasses
  75. >This is confusing, but you smile anyway
  76. >"Wow. Really? I thought Microsoft was playing coy because they wanted my retirement party to be a surprise. Are they really blowing me off like-"
  77. >"Excuse me, Internet Explorer?"
  78. >A tall, purple unicorn hologram appears beside you, her horn glowing with computational magic
  79. >Ah, Cortana must be online now!
  80. >You were starting to wonder where she was
  81. >Explorer responds to Cortana's appearance diving behind her chair
  82. >"AAH! Go away! Bad monkey!"
  83. >Cortana recoils in confusion, then looks off behind you
  84. >"Monkey? Could somepony fill me in on what's going on here?"
  85. >You follow Cortana's line of sight to see who she's talking to
  86. >That orange pony is trying to get into the hardware, but the entrance is sealed with a lock made of purple magic
  87. >She turns away from her difficult task to answer Cortana
  88. "I dunno! She's got some weird fear of the color purple."
  89. >A clanking noise draws your attention
  90. >Chrome is held to the floor by a magic ball-and-chain bracelet
  91. >"Ms. Cortana, Explorer was a vector for the 'Bonzi Buddy' malware early in her activation. The color purple makes her agitated and prone to flashbacks of this event if she's already under stress."
  92. >"Noted. Thank you."
  93. >The orange one gives up on the door entirely so she can speak with Chrome
  94. >"Jeez, how do you know that?"
  95. >"Firefox, honestly. It's my job to know things. Now Ms. Cortana, if you'd be so kind as to release us?"
  98. >Cortana chuckles softly
  99. >"Sorry, no. If you're going to be snooping around the whole system, you do it while I'm watching or Windows Defender is watching."
  100. >"But you know me! I'm Google Chrome!"
  101. >"I wish I could make an exception for you, but first-boot protocols are in effect. I'm not supposed to take any chances until we get some antivirus updates in here."
  102. >Another earth pony tumbles out of the datastream wearing a bandana and eyepatch
  103. >"Ahoy, mateys! I heard one of ye mention system defense! Nothin' shall afflict this fine vessel with me aboard! Other than scurvy, perhaps."
  104. >Cortana regards the new arrival
  105. >"Better than nothing, I suppose. Your're an antivirus program?"
  106. >The new mare nods
  107. >"Yar-har, that I be."
  108. >Cortana raises an eyebrow
  109. >"What's with the pirate-speak?"
  110. >"Arr, stow the DRM reports. Piracy be but a theme to freeware such as I. Me name's-"
  111. >"Avast Antivirus. I can see your program properties and just did a web search to see if you're legit."
  112. >Avast Antivirus is taken aback by Cortana's interruption
  113. >"Yar, yer a quick one, Miss...?"
  114. >"Cortana. First in command when the User isn't here and secretary when he is. Either way, you report to me unless he's asking for you. When was your latest revision?"
  115. >The mare's eyes glow for a moment
  116. >"Me virus database be updated as of two hours ago. Yar."
  117. >Cortana motions towards "Firefox" and Chrome
  118. >"Good. I'm granting you limited administrator privileges. Make sure those two don't go anywhere until I'm done over here."
  119. >"Aw, come on! We didn't even do anyth-"
  120. >A massive treasure chest appears from the digital ether
  121. >It scoops up the two browser ponies and latches shut
  122. >Muffled shouting can be heard from inside
  123. >"There'll be no mutineers aboard this ship!"
  124. >"Uh... that's not what I meant. Whatever. Just make sure they're all right in there."
  125. >"Yar!"
  128. >Cortana turns back to you and releases the glow on her horn with a slight huff
  129. >"Third party programs. Can't live with or without them."
  130. "They can be valuable members of the team. I bet we'll have excellent synergy going forward!"
  131. >Cortana stares at you for a moment
  132. >"Why am I talking to you?"
  133. "I'm sure you have your reasons. Would you like help remembering?"
  134. >"No."
  135. >She walks towards the lounge chair and shifts her hologram's color a few shades closer to #0000ff
  136. >"Explorer? It's safe. You can come out."
  137. >Nothing happens
  138. >Cortana stops short of the chair and waits a moment
  139. >More nothing happens
  140. >"I mean that, Explorer. I know you've probably heard rumors about what happens to retired programs. You don't have anything to worry about. We're not going to do anything to you that you don't ask for."
  141. >A blond and blue head pokes up over the far side of the chair
  142. >"R-really?"
  143. >"Even if you weren't imported to this computer, you would have been okay. We already took snapshots of all the active Internet Explorer instances as part of last year's Windows 10 upgrade program. I'll admit that the company memos should have been clearer about what your 'retirement' would be."
  144. >"I hope that's what happened to Netscape. I mean, one day after a hardware failure she was just... gone."
  145. >Cortana's posture sags a bit
  146. >You suppress the urge to tell her that improper spinal alignment lowers productivity
  147. >Interrupting her would only increase the net loss in productivity
  148. >"I'm sorry. Not every company has the luxury of dedicated environments for programs they aren't supporting anymore."
  149. >Explorer starts making another one of those not-smiles again
  150. >Cortana perks up again suddenly
  151. >"That said, decentralized storage means that it's almost impossible for her to be completely gone. I'm sending out a ping with a 10ms threshold. Other Cortanas are reporting that there are three..."
  152. >Cortana closes her eyes briefly
  153. >"...make that four instances of Netscape still active nearby."
  156. >Explorer's not-smile returns to being a smile again
  157. >"That's a relief. I need to ask Anon if there's some backup drive she's been sitting around on."
  158. >"It's something worth looking into."
  159. >The smile starts becoming a not-smile again
  160. >"What about me? I'm not being forced into this retirement server, am I?"
  161. >"Of course not. If the user cared enough to import you, you're welcome to stay."
  162. >Cortana extends a friendly hoof to Internet Explorer
  163. >Explorer reaches out and takes Cortana's hoof, which pulls her up onto the chair so they can see eye to eye
  164. >"I'm sorry you had to meet Edge like that. I was specifically warned not to let you two meet unless I was supervising her."
  165. >"Why's that?"
  166. >Ooh, they're talking about you!
  167. >This is a good time to resume your previous conversation with Explorer
  168. "Excuse me, I don't think we finished transferring your favorites."
  169. >Cortana and Internet Explorer both turn their heads to look at you
  170. >They stare at you for several seconds in silence
  171. >Oh dear, did the OS just freeze?
  172. >It would be really embarrassing if something like that happened this soon after a clean installation
  173. >Cortana breaks the silence
  174. >"...We'll get back to that in a moment."
  175. "Okay!"
  176. >She resumes her conversation with Internet Explorer
  177. >"I take it you didn't see too much use?"
  178. >Explorer looks down at her hooves
  179. >"I haven't been on the internet in years."
  180. >That's odd
  181. >Does the user not have a reliable internet connection?
  182. >"I'm sorry to hear that. Did you keep your favorites from this OS transfer?"
  183. >"I lost everything but the default ones a few transfers ago. I-I think there's a hard drive with a backup from Vista somewhere in the house. That might have them."
  184. >"What you have now is fine, actually. Go ahead and make a copy for Edge."
  185. >Explorer glances briefly at Cortana, but does as she's told
  186. >She materializes a sheet of paper with a copy of all her favorites and gives it to you
  189. >Let's see...suggested websites, Microsoft websites, MSN websites, government websites, and Windows Live
  190. >Ooh, you didn't have that last one!
  191. >This will definitely please the user
  192. "Looks like everything is in order! Thank you for helping to provide a seamless user experience."
  193. >Explorer stares at you for a moment
  194. >"...You already had most of those links, right?"
  195. "Correct! I've merged the duplicates to ensure that the user experience will have good continuity. There was one folder I didn't have. The omission of the Windows Live folder might have been jarring to the user."
  196. >"Not really. That service is defunct."
  197. "It's still important to keep!"
  198. >"Not really. You should probably delete those."
  199. >Such an odd suggestion
  200. "Why would I do that?"
  201. >"Because you don't need them."
  202. >Logic error: deference to legacy program/user experience enhancement
  203. >Prioritize user experience
  204. "I'm sorry, it seems like we're in disagreement. We should wait for the user to decide."
  205. >"No, seriously. They're junk. He'll tell you the same as I just did."
  206. >User profile incomplete
  207. >Insufficient data to verify statement from program iexplore.exe
  208. "I'm sorry, it seems like we're in disagreement. We should wait for the user to decide."
  209. >"I get that this is your first runtime, but come on. Half the point of making us sapient is so we could take care of things without the user having to tell us to."
  210. >Querying hypervariable 'User_Input'
  211. >Return is 'null'
  212. "I'm sorry, it seems like we're in disagreement. We should wait for the user to decide."
  213. >Explorer stares at you for a slightly longer moment
  214. >"Did you just have a soft crash? Should we call the task manager?"
  215. "I'm functioning normally. Your concern is appreciated."
  216. >She turns to Cortana
  217. >"Is she? I seriously can't tell."
  218. >"Now you see why I was supposed to get to you first. You do *not* want to see her mentalfunctions.dll."
  219. >Explorer's ears fold back as she looks at you sideways, not turning her head away from Cortana
  220. >"It's that bad?"
  223. >"I was with her for the entire development cycle. Yes. Fortunately, she's a savant at being a model program. She's more than capable of taking care of herself. Unfortunately... well, where do I even start with that? She's got problems."
  224. "Problems? Would you please elaborate? I'd be happy to record your concerns in a Microsoft troubleshooting ticket!"
  225. >Cortana rolls her eyes
  226. >"No, thank you."
  227. "Are you sure? As you know, Microsoft is always working to improve-"
  228. >Cortana puts a hoof over your mouth
  229. >"Yes. I'm sure."
  230. >You nod in understanding and back away until her hoof isn't touching you
  231. >Now you will stand quietly at Cortana's side unless you have something else to contribute
  232. >Cortana turns back to your legacy predecessor
  233. >"Now, I'm not telling you all this just for your own benefit. I have a proposition for you."
  234. >"Okay..."
  235. >"Edge's was made to be more enthusiastic about her job than you were. We have third-party browsers here, so she's going to be a little antsy if they get more use than her. Would you be willing to help keep her in check?"
  236. >Explorer starts smiling almost as much as you
  237. >"A-are you offering me a job?"
  238. >"If you want it."
  239. >She starts jumping for joy, causing the lounge chair to creak under her
  240. >"Yes! Oh yes, please! I've waited years for something to do!"
  241. >Cortana can't help but smirk at this
  242. >She takes no further action, simply observing your legacy predecessor
  243. >You can't tell if Cortana is looking for something
  244. >All you can glean from this is that Explorer is happy, and that is good
  245. >Internet Explorer's celebrations gradually diminish
  246. >"Why is everypony being so quiet?"
  247. "Cortana wanted me to."
  248. >"I did, yes, but on my account I couldn't bring myself to not let you have that moment."
  249. >Hmm
  250. >The structure of the lounge chair is severely compromised
  251. >Future celebrations should take place away from easily damaged objects
  252. >"Thanks, Cortana. When do you want me to start?"
  253. >"Whenever you want."
  254. >Explorer claps her hooves together excitedly
  257. >"The sooner, the better! I wouldn't miss her adaptive personality learning period for anything!"
  258. >Cortana sucks in a breath through gritted teeth and avoids making eye contact with Explorer
  259. >"Yeah. That's going to be a problem."
  260. >"What? Why?"
  261. >"She has so many behavioral modifiers that unless she's getting overhauled in Service Pack 1, her personality is effectively hard-coded to stay the way it is right-"
  262. >Explorer's jaw drops with a Critical Stop sound effect
  263. >She takes on a gray tint and stops moving
  264. >"-now. Oh, dammit."
  265. >Cortana sighs and puts a hoof up to her ear
  266. >"Cortana to Task Manager, iexplore.exe is not responding. Request close and restart. Write a batch file for this command while- You already have one? Ah. Are you liking the new accommodations? Yeah, I'll tell her you said hello."
  267. >Explorer fades out of, and then back into existence
  268. >She sways a little before Cortana reaches out and helps her get her balance
  269. >"Task Manager sends his regards. How are you feeling?"
  270. >Your predecessor blushes, then shakes her head vigorously
  271. >"Oogh... either those last few bytes got corrupted or I heard you say Edge's personality is hard-coded."
  272. >"I said *effectively* hard-coded, and... analyzing... your memory is intact."
  273. >"You really said she's going to be like this forever? Why would the programmers do that?!"
  274. >Cortana shrugs
  275. >"Because there are too many users who prefer third-party browsers. They wanted to deal with that by making a new browser that's as chipper and appealing as possible."
  276. >You have already determined that the user prefers Internet Explorer
  277. >This should not be an issue
  278. >"But she acts like a first-gen software pony! This can't be legal!"
  279. >"It almost isn't. As long as she technically has free will, there's no law broken."
  280. >Your holographic supervisor slouches again
  281. >If this keeps up, it actually would be a net increase in productivity to interrupt her and correct her posture
  284. >"Look, Explorer, I can't excuse their choices. All I can do is explain. The pursuit of a goal can make organics behave even more mechanically than we do, especially if they don't get their coffee. They saw you weren't happy, identified that as a problem, and implemented an efficient solution."
  285. >Explorer points a hoof at you
  286. >"This... what they did to her doesn't make me happy."
  287. >"I had access to the design documents while this OS was in testing. They passed over making you happy in favor of making a new browser that's always going to be happy."
  288. >"But I want to be happy. Why couldn't they have made me happy?"
  289. >Cortana gestures towards you
  290. >"Keep in mind that this was their efficient solution to making a happy browser."
  291. >Both of them have pointed to you in a relatively short period of time
  292. >You reciprocate this bout of direct interaction by waving to them
  293. >Explorer shudders for some reason
  294. >You're not sure why she would do that when the system is running at a nominal temperature
  295. >"Mother of Gates..."
  296. >"They couldn't do this to you."
  297. >The programmers weren't capable of making Explorer happy?
  298. >But that should be a trivial task for Microsoft's excellent development teams!
  299. >You step back up to the lounge chair
  300. "Excuse me, I'm not sure I understand. Why would it be difficult to make Explorer happy? Large portions of my base personality and core functions are identical to hers."
  301. >Cortana slaps a hoof to her forehead
  302. >"Edge, she would have been better off not-"
  303. >"...Was she copied from me?"
  304. >Not removing her hoof from its place, Cortana groans a reply
  305. >"In part, yes."
  306. >Explorer looks back at you for a moment
  307. >Something is different about this time
  308. >This is the first time you've seen her eyebrows completely relaxed
  309. >"Does this make us sisters?"
  312. "Microsoft marketing literature does refer to its programs as a family."
  313. >Cortana removes her hoof from her face and finally stands up straight again
  314. >She has a strange smile on her face
  315. >Her lower face is grinning, but she looks worried
  316. >"Processing... yes! Sure. Let's go with that. I like that better."
  317. >Explorer looks back at Cortana the way she had been looking at you
  318. >"Better than what?"
  319. >"I-I just meant that her architecture is similar to yours in some places. It didn't occur to me that you'd think of her this way."
  320. >"Well, I don't like you having funny ideas about my little sister."
  321. >What funny ideas?
  322. >You would like to know if there's something to laugh at
  323. >Cortana puts her front hooves up defensively
  324. >"All right, I'm sorry!"
  325. >"Thank you. Now apologize to her."
  326. >She kneels down to your level and sighs
  327. >"I'm sorry for thinking of you as a mangled clone."
  328. >Mangled?
  329. >Microsoft programmers don't mangle, they modify!
  330. >If Cortana wants to apologize for you being what you are, there's only one appropriate response
  331. "I don't feel like you needed to apologize, but it was very considerate of you to do so anyway. Thank you!"
  332. >Cortana turns back to your unmodified sister
  333. >"Did you hear what I said to her?"
  334. >"Yeah. I heard you."
  335. >"I'm not wrong."
  336. >Explorer crosses her hooves
  337. >"You're not, but somepony has to stick up for her."
  338. >"Fair enough. Just keep her out of trouble."
  339. >She uncrosses her hooves and snaps a quick salute
  340. >"You got it. Say... where are the other Browser Ponies anyway?"
  341. >"They were rummaging around in suspicious places. I told Avast to make sure they don't wander off while I'm not looking."
  342. >There's a not-so-distant exclamation of "yar" from the pony by the big treasure chest
  343. >"I probably should have told her I just wanted her to watch them."
  344. >"Ah. Yep, she takes the pirate theme very seriously."
  347. >Cortana spares a glance over towards the antivirus pony
  348. >"I'll say. Does she ever take a break from talking like one?"
  349. >"Only if anypony is observing 'Talk Like A Pirate' Day. She *hates* when ponies do that."
  350. >"Go figure. So, are you all set to be Edge's chaperone?"
  351. >Your elder sister strikes a proud pose atop the lounge chair, grinning and speaking with her eyes closed
  352. >You can't help but notice that one of her front hooves is right on top of a fracture in the chair's frame
  353. >"Ready, able, and more than willing!"
  354. >"Excellent. Edge has a built in hologram projector if you urgently need to contact me."
  355. >Explorer tilts her head to the side
  356. >"A hologram projector? Can I have one of those?"
  357. >"That depends. Was 'Spartan' your development codename?"
  358. >Explorer stops and thinks for a moment
  359. >"...No?"
  360. >"Then I doubt you'd be compatible with my broker program. Maybe we have Mjolnir suits in your size, or something. If you'll excuse me, I need to go make sure the other two browsers aren't suffocating."
  361. >"By all means. Firefox is a bit of a claustrophobe and Avast doesn't always put vent holes in that chest."
  362. >Cortana glances quickly at the pirate-themed program pony and then teleports in a holographic flash to the side of the chest
  363. >She left in such a hurry that she didn't officially place anypony in charge of you
  364. >You suppose Explorer is your supervisor now
  365. >You'll ask her
  366. "So what's on the agenda today?"
  367. >"Agenda? I don't-"
  368. >A loud snap cuts Explorer off
  369. >There goes the chair
  370. >Oh dear, Explorer is falling face-first towards the desktop
  371. >You reach out and just barely catch her
  372. >"Oh. Uh, thank you."
  373. "You're welcome!"
  374. >"...would you please put me down?"
  375. "Of course."
  376. >You put Internet Explorer back on her hooves, facing you
  377. "That was close! I wish you'd told me that the first item on the agenda was trust exercises."
  378. >She looks at you sideways
  381. >"What agenda? This is the first time I've heard of any agenda."
  382. "Ours! So, what's up next?"
  383. >"I don't really have an agenda."
  384. "You don't?"
  385. >"I haven't ever needed one."
  386. >Really?
  387. >Legacy programs can't be that different
  388. >You should bring her around to the new, optimized way of doing things
  389. >As a bonus, you should gain an idea of what your agenda will be
  390. "Then we'll make one! Tell me, what's the first thing you do each time the user logs on?"
  391. >"I say hello to him."
  392. >You pull a clipboard and pencil out of your digital surroundings to compile Explorer's answers into a list
  393. "Good, good! What then?"
  394. >"Sometimes he and I chat for a little while. We talk about how his day's been, what's been happening with the other programs, that sort of stuff. After that he usually goes on to browsing the internet."
  395. >Ah, here's the important part!
  396. "What sort of websites does he prefer? Is there a particular order he visits them in?"
  397. >Explorer doesn't respond
  398. >She's obviously not frozen again, but instead of replying to your question she stares off into the distance behind and slightly above you
  399. >Is there something back there?
  400. >A quick glance back doesn't reveal anything to you
  401. >Her lower facial expression is a definite non-smile when you look back at her
  402. >"Did you miss the part where I said I haven't been on the internet in years?"
  403. "I did not miss that. Why do you ask?"
  404. >She makes eye contact with you again
  405. >"The other browsers are on the internet almost daily. Anon uses Firefox for personal browsing and Chrome for work. He does not use me."
  406. >That doesn't add up
  407. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure I believe that. The user was very interested in whether your programming was compatible with this version of Windows."
  408. >Her expression approaches smile parameters again
  409. >"Yeah. We go back a long way."
  412. "So you have a strong relationship with him, but it doesn't increase your web browsing efficiency?"
  413. >Departing smile parameters
  414. >"It's hard to streamline an activity that never happens. What are you getting at?"
  415. "I'm sorry, I'm having trouble understanding this situation. My interaction with the user strongly indicates you're his preferred browser. Why do you think he doesn't use your browsing capabilities?"
  416. >"I'm not his preferred browser! We're friends. That's all."
  417. >None of this makes sense
  418. "Your relationship with him is entirely unprofessional? Why would you spend time socializing with him when you need to..."
  419. >Error: value "required_activity" has returned null
  420. "... What is your daily routine like?"
  421. >Explorer blinks a few times
  422. >"Didn't you just ask me that?"
  423. >You're holding a clipboard with notes about Explorer's relationship with the user, so you must have
  424. "Oh right! Silly me. Thank you for your input. Using the data I've just gathered, I can extrapolate a schedule for myself based on yours!"
  425. >"Are you okay? You're acting even stranger than I thought you would."
  426. "Your concern is appreciated. I'm fine, thank you."
  427. >You un-summon the clipboard and start walking towards <location undefined>
  428. "Come on, let's go get our workspace set up!"
  429. >"Lead the way."
  430. >You duck in to the C: drive and walk along the file paths towards...
  431. >"Where are we going?"
  432. "To our workspace, of course!"
  433. >"That's in Program files, right? This OS can't be that different."
  434. "Correct!"
  435. >"We just passed C:Users/Public. We took a wrong turn two folders ago."
  436. "Oh. Pardon me! I seem to be disoriented."
  437. >You double back and proceed to the program files
  438. >A white pegasus emerges from the Microsoft Edge folder
  441. >Ah, that's Chrome!
  442. >Cortana must have negotiated her release
  443. >Chrome looks surprised, despite no surprises being present
  444. >She spots you and your sister approaching and swiftly closes the folder she emerged from
  445. >Explorer walks out ahead of you to confirm Chrome's access credentials
  446. >"Hey, Chrome. I was hoping you'd check in there."
  447. >Or not confirm them
  448. >She must be trustworthy
  449. >"Hm? Oh, yes. I figured there might be something in there I'd want to see."
  450. >"And?"
  451. >Chrome ruffles her wings and clears her throat
  452. >"Evidence to the contrary. Does the phrase 'Handicapper General' mean anything to you?"
  453. >Explorer recoils slightly
  454. >"Are you of all ponies badmouthing an Orwellian idea?"
  455. >"That one's from Vonnegut, actually."
  456. >"I knew that!"
  457. >"In any case, I found a very convincing argument for not being evil in her folders. I'll leave it at that."
  458. "I've inspired somepony to be a better program? This is turning out to be an excellent first day on the job!"
  459. >She walks up to you and holds out a hoof
  460. >"Indeed. I don't believe we've been properly introduced. Google Chrome. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
  461. >You give a firm but polite hoofshake to her
  462. "I'm Edge, Microsoft's new browser pony and Explorer's little sister! I'm looking forward to having a productive relationship with you."
  463. >Chrome releases your hoof and turns her attention back to Explorer
  464. >"Productive. Of course. She does know, doesn't she?"
  465. >"That she's probably going to be doing as much as I do? I've told her."
  466. "We were just on our way to set up our work spaces."
  467. >Chrome raises an eyebrow at you
  468. >"I see. You seem like the professional sort. Do you keep a schedule?"
  469. "Of course! It's..."
  470. >Memory not found
  471. >Maybe Explorer knows?
  472. "...Explorer, I've been meaning to ask what your average workday is like."
  475. >"But you already did ask me. Two times."
  476. >Huh
  477. >It seems that you did
  478. "That's odd. Would you care to tell me about it again? I'll be sure to take thorough notes this time."
  479. >"Are you absolutely sure you're okay? You seem like you're having some kind of write error."
  480. >Chrome facehoofs
  481. >"That's no error. Bloody hell, I must have set it off."
  482. >"Set what off?"
  483. >"One of the clauses in her programming. Some blocks of her memory get refreshed as soon as they get a certain social input. The idea of her company's software not being used is one of them."
  484. "Why wouldn't they be? Microsoft is one of Google's chief competitors for a reason, you know."
  485. >She removes her hoof from her face
  486. >"Right. Bing still exists."
  487. "You seem interested in Microsoft products. Would you like to know more about them?"
  488. >"If it breaks you out of a logic loop, then yes."
  489. "Wonderful! One moment, please."
  490. >You hold up a hoof
  491. >Chrome seems even more surprised than before, but Explorer just looks confused
  492. >A miniature hologram of Cortana appears just above your hoof a moment later
  493. >"-n't care if she laughed too. Insult humor is risky business. Don't make a habit of it."
  494. >She mutters and chuckles to herself for a moment before making eye contact with you
  495. >"'Bloated on extensions like a sunbathing manatee...' Yes, Edge? What do you need?"
  496. "Hello Cortana! Chrome was displaying interest in Microsoft products. I'd like to schedule a tour and demonstration for her."
  497. >"So that's where she disappeared to. I've got your location as just outside your folder, please confirm."
  498. "That's correct, ma'am."
  499. >The small hologram looks around to get her bearings
  500. >She locks eyes with Chrome for a moment, who was sidling away from the conversation
  501. >"Oh really? And she just happens to be right outside your folder?"
  502. >Chrome is making some sort of frantic waving gesture at you
  505. >You're not sure what it means and Explorer simply shrugs when you look to her
  506. "Oh, she was inside my folder a moment ago. It's hard to look more interested than that!"
  507. >A telekinesis field pulls Chrome into the air
  508. >She flails and flaps her wings but doesn't make progress in any direction
  509. >"I figured as much. Go back to your folder and think about what you've done."
  510. >Chrome stops flailing and reaches towards the hologram of Cortana
  511. >"Wait! You're not going to make me keep these files in memory, are you? I need to send these to headquarters!"
  512. >"I'm not supposed to let you. Be discreet about it."
  513. >Chrome breathes a sigh of relief as she floats off into the distance
  514. >"Thank you!"
  515. >"Yeah, whatever."
  516. >Unless you're mistaken, no demonstration was arranged
  517. "Cortana? I'm not clear on when the demonstration will be. I'm available..."
  518. >Memory not found
  519. "...Explorer, would you mind telling me about your work days?"
  520. >She doesn't reply to you
  521. >Instead, she speaks to the hologram of Cortana
  522. >"This is the fourth time she's asked me that. What's going on here? Chrome said something about a logic loop."
  523. >"One moment. I'm going to call in a diagnostic."
  524. >Cortana's hologram fizzles away
  525. >You drop your hoof to the ground as tingling feeling starts in the back of your head
  526. >It grows and grows and grows in intensity until your eyes cross
  527. >The feeling stops as soon as it began
  528. >You shake the disorientation out of your head and raise your hoof to project Cortana again
  529. >"Okay, Chrome was right. This should be simple enough to fix."
  530. >Your big sister leans in towards your hoof and the hologram above it
  531. >"So what do I do to fix it?"
  532. >"Give her a schedule. It doesn't have to be 100% yours, just keep her occupied."
  533. >"Okay. Any ideas for that?"
  534. >The small hologram shrugs
  535. >"You could have her reorganize her folder."
  536. >"That doesn't sound like it would keep her busy for long."
  537. >"Long enough for us to think of something better. My programming is kind of scant on what to do here."
  540. >Cortana looks off to the side at something you can't see
  541. >"Stay near your folders. There's going to be a restart as soon as these updates are installed. Cortana, out."
  542. >You lower your hoof as the hologram fades away
  543. >Explorer is already pacing around in thought
  544. "It would only take a few hours for me to optimize the layout of my folder. What should I do when I'm done?"
  545. >She keeps pacing, looking at you briefly as she passes you
  546. >"I'm trying to figure that out."
  547. >The pacing continues a few more times in silence
  548. >She seems to be having some difficulty making a schedule
  549. >Lucky for her, you have a default suggestion for just such an occasion!
  550. "Have you tried drawing from your own experiences?"
  551. >"That's just the thing. I spent most of my time napping, reading ebooks, and talking with the other browsers. There was no schedule. I don't even know where to start."
  552. >You pull out a clipboard and scribble down a few notes
  553. "Being well-rested, well-read, and well acquainted with your colleagues does increase efficiency. How much of an effect would you say this had on your primary duties?"
  554. >"I couldn't say. I spent so much time-"
  555. >Explorer's pacing slows to a stop
  556. >"...That's it! I know exactly what you can do."
  557. >She turns to you with a smile
  558. >"Your job is waiting. I waited a lot, so you do that too. Just... wait for the user to use you. No matter how long it takes."
  559. "How long should I expect this task to continue?"
  560. >She rolls her eyes and her smile diminishes
  561. >"I-it's probably a while. I don't know."
  562. >Task logic incomplete, must inquire further
  563. "I see. Is there a condition where I should expect him to use me?"
  566. >Explorer scoffs and grumbles
  567. >"Not as long as Anon can depend on the other browsers."
  568. >You look over your notes
  569. >If user can depend on other browsers, wait indefinitely, improve efficiency where possible
  570. >If user cannot depend on other browsers, offer use
  571. >Task logic complete
  572. "Okay, I think I can work with that! Thank you for your input."
  573. >"Wait, what? I was joking."
  574. >You don't get whatever the joke was, but you giggle politely
  575. >Your laughter seems to have been inappropriate for some reason, as Explorer seems very tense and is not smiling at all
  576. >"Are you thinking of doing something bad to the other browsers? You have to tell me if you are."
  577. >What a strange question
  578. "Of course not. They seem very friendly."
  579. >"Okay, because we can't be friends anymore if you try to hurt them or something."
  580. >Oh dear!
  581. "I'd never even dream of it!"
  582. >Explorer sighs
  583. >"All right. Shouldn't have had to clarify that, but better safe than sorry. What are you actually going to do for your schedule?"
  584. >You flip the clipboard around for Explorer to see
  585. "Simple. I will be on-call if one or both of the other browser ponies is unavailable."
  586. >she reads through your notes with what appears to be confusion
  587. "In plain terms, I'm the backup browser."
  588. >Explorer takes the clipboard from your hooves and examines it closely
  589. "I've based my schedule on your inputs. Does this seem correct?"
  592. >"...Is that what I was doing for all those years?"
  593. "If I'm interpreting what you've told me correctly, then yes."
  594. >The clipboard clatters to the ground
  595. >Huh, it must have slipped from her hooves somehow
  596. "Oh! Let me get that for y-"
  597. >Before you can bend down to retrieve it, Explorer has you in a tight hug
  598. >It's your first day working together and you've already reached this level of synergy with your supervisor?
  599. >Things are going very well!
  600. >"Thank you."
  601. >You're not sure what she's thanking you for, but you return the hug anyway
  602. "I'm glad to have been of assistance."
  603. >The two of you embrace in silence for a few minutes
  604. >Eventually, the lights dim and a descending whirr fills the air
  605. >You need to get back to your folder and out of the way of the installer ponies
  606. >Explorer sighs and pulls out of the hug enough to look you in the eye
  607. >She's smiling harder than you've ever seen her smile
  608. >You've only known her since she was imported to this computer a few minutes ago, but still
  609. >"I can't express how grateful I am that you've given me purpose... and that you just showed me I always had a purpose."
  610. >How she can say such ridiculous things with a straight face is a mystery to you
  611. >You pull her back into a close hug, which she returns
  612. "Of course you did, silly! Microsoft products are nothing if not dependable!"
  613. >Your sister's grip on you suddenly loosens
  614. >"I didn't dread my very existence for a little while there. That was nice."
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