Dion started a series of posts looking at past Microsoft technologies from the web archaeology. Sometimes its good to know where we've come from to figure out where we are going.
Before Silverlight, there was DirectAnimation starting in Internet Explorer 4. DirectAnimation was discontinued with IE 7 due to security issues. In an effort to erase the existence of this technology, Microsoft removed all of the documentation from MSDN! Here's a page from one of the original developers of DirectAnimation talking about its history. Here's a sample screenshot of a DirectAnimation example from an article on the technology.
Next, before Google Chrome, around 1998, there was Microsoft ChromEffects. This was finished and announced and ready to ship. But never made it due to controversy over Microsoft creating their own de-facto 3D tag markup. There’s a book “Renegades of the Empire”, detailing the 'renegade programmers' who drove these technologies at Microsoft behind the DirectX and ChromeEffects technologies.
….and finally, Microsoft's Comic Chat IRC client that was bundled with Internet Explorer 3, what set it apart as an IRC client is that chatting happened in cartoons!