MSN Chat was the Microsoft Network version of IRCX (Internet Relay Chat extensions by Microsoft), which replaced Microsoft Chat, a set of Exchange-based IRCX servers first available in the Microsoft Comic Chat client, although Comic Chat was not required to connect.
The Microsoft Network Chat Control was developed as an Active X Component Object Model (COM) Object.
The use of third-party applications on the MSN Chat Network was not prohibited, although it was unsupported.
Third-party applications were required to use the same Authentication Methods as the MSN Chat Control.
The second change was the major part, allowing the Chat Control to bridge the connections between the Client and MSN Chat Service.
The most popular third-party applications were m IRC, IRC Dominator and Viperbot.
Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.
In the beginning, shortly after the move from Microsoft Chat, the MSN Chat Network could be directly connected to through any IRC Client to com on port 6667.
However, Facebook’s real name policy has forced out some users, notably members of the LGBT community who prefer to stay anonymous online.
Active X, being a Microsoft technology provided limited compatibility for other products.
The other major platforms beside Internet Explorer that MSN Chat was supported on, was Netscape Navigator and MSNTV (formerly known as Web TV).
In any event, these public functions allowed normal IRC clients to authorize themselves.
With the release of the MSN Chat Control 4.0, the public functions were removed.
If the control was instructed to connect to any address other than the server, it would not match the server's hash and thus authentication would fail.