1691242060 discontinued microsoft communications software^1996^microsoft comic chat story

Every now and then, Microsoft will shut down some software program apps that it feels have outlived their use. Final week it introduced that the Xbox Console Companion app will shut down on August 28. This week, it disabled the standalone Cortana app for Windows 11 PCs. They be part of a protracted historical past of Microsoft apps and providers which have both been closed utterly or morphed into new apps with totally different names.

One of many extra attention-grabbing canceled Microsoft apps and providers is one which in some ways was forward of its time however has since been forgotten by most individuals. It is referred to as Microsoft Comedian Chat, and it principally is an IRC consumer that created 2D comedian e-book panels for customers who wished to speak with others. It’s kind of of a precursor to as we speak’s fashionable generative AI artwork creators like Midjourney, DALL-E, or Microsoft’s personal Bing Image Creator.

Microsoft Comedian Chat started as a undertaking for the corporate’s Analysis division. The primary particular person behind the preliminary concept was David “DJ” Kurlander, and he talks about a few of the concepts behind this system on his official website. Kurlander, who has since retired from Microsoft, first developed Comedian Chat in 1995, and he, together with workforce members Tim Skelly and David Salesin, wrote a paper about its creation for the SIGGRAPH graphics developers conference in 1996.

In that paper, the authors wrote about a few of the points they felt graphical chat providers had at the moment. They embody points just like the “comparatively static nature” of chat room backgrounds, customers taking time to do issues aside from chatting like navigating rooms to seek out conversations, and that chat histories have been regulated to simply storing textual content conversations.

Microsoft Analysis’s undertaking was created to assist with many of those issues. The paper said:

We now have constructed a system, referred to as “Comedian Chat,” that routinely generates comics to depict on-line graphical chats. Counting on the principles of comedian panel composition, this technique chooses which avatars (offered as comedian characters) to incorporate in every panel, determines their placement and orientation, constructs phrase balloons of a number of sorts, and locations these phrase balloons based on the principles for correct studying order. The system additionally chooses an acceptable digicam zoom issue for every panel, decides when to start a brand new panel, and selects default gestures and expressions that the contributors can override.

Microsoft comic chat

The paintings that was created for this chat consumer was initially drawn by well-known indie comedian e-book artist Jim Woodring. There is no phrase on how Kurlander and his Comedian Chat workforce selected Woodring for this system’s artwork fashion, however it actually was an impressed determination to convey him in for this undertaking. His artwork resembles that of the underground comedian artwork pattern from the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies and offers the chat program a particular look.

Apart from its capacity to create new comedian e-book panels on the fly for on-line chats, Comedian Chat additionally had a “emotion wheel” the place customers may alter the look of their 2D avatar to specific totally different feelings. Kurlander wrote on his website:

The circle on the backside contains numerous feelings at its periphery (laughing, glad, coy, bored, scared, unhappy, indignant, and shouting). On the middle of the circle is the impartial expression. Because the person strikes the selector from the middle of the circle in the direction of an expression on the periphery, the character’s emotion turns into extra intense. For instance, right here an intensely indignant emotion is chosen on the emotion wheel, and the self-view of the character displays this. When the person subsequent sorts a chat utterance, their character might be drawn in a panel with the identical gesture and expression as within the self-view.

Microsoft Comedian Chat was formally launched to the general public in 1996 as a part of Web Explorer 3. It will later be launched as a part of IE 4 and 5, and would even be bundled with Home windows 98 and Home windows NT 5. It will later be renamed as simply Microsoft Chat.

In 2001, Microsoft determined to close down the official servers for Microsoft Chat and the event of the consumer ended. Consequently, this system rapidly misplaced a whole lot of its viewers. Nonetheless, the final model of Comedian Chat (2.5) continues to be out there to obtain from many locations. In case you are , you may take a look at Mermaid Elizabeth’s website which has a ton of resources on Comic Chat, together with a strategy to discover some IRC servers that also assist this system.

On this new generative AI age, maybe Microsoft ought to check out creating a brand new model of Comedian Chat. Combining Bing Chat with Bing Comedian Creator could be a really attention-grabbing new experiment.

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