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).
Little is known about the role of NTLM authentication on MSN Chat.
The versions of MSN Chat were designed from IRC3 through to IRC8, Even with the newer versions, MSN Chat still had the possibility to replicate older MSN Chat versions by issuing the IRCVERS command.
It is believed that IRC referred to the original IRC Daemon, and IRC2 referred to IRCX.
To ensure the MSN Chat network was only being connected to by authorized clients, Microsoft created and implemented a SASL based Security Service Provider authentication package known as Gate Keeper.
This used a randomized session key to authorize users not using the Microsoft Passport (now Microsoft account) system.
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.
Microsoft used another SSP known as Gate Keeper Passport, that worked from the same method but required certain attributes related to the user's account.
There have been various methods through the use of m IRC to access the MSN Chat Network.
The Gate Keeper mechanism is not publicly documented.
Gate Keeper Passport is the same system, But uses parameters supplied by the HTML webpage to log you into a personal account.
Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.