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.
Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.
With the release of the MSN Chat Control 4.2 and later, they blocked this proxy method by having the chat control hash the IP address of the server to which it was instructed to connect into the response to the challenge in authentication.
Many of the "MSN Chat Clones" are non-compliant and do not follow the RFC 1459 (IRC) or the "e Xtensions to Internet Relay Chat" (IRCX) standards and often contain many bugs/exploits that may cause a denial of service with the MSN Chat Control.
Many of the MSN Chat Clones started up directly after MSN closed its services (2006), and additional networks have continued to spring up since then.
There is speculation that these chat networks may have pulled potential subscribers away from MSN Chat, ultimately bringing on the demise of MSN Subscription Chat Services.
While the majority of MSN Clone Chat sites are free, most of them rely on adverts to provide a small income.