Okay, I’m not really sure Microsoft invented AJAX, but I do know Internet Explorer had several asynchronous scriptable technologies and techniques long before any other browser.
- DSOs (ADC, TDC, RDS). The TDC was pretty good, ADC was too heavy, and RDS was too much of a security issue, but they were all early ways to asynchronously data-bind elements at the browser. They were also fully scriptable.
- IFRAMEs – IE4/1997 or newer had IFRAMEs (Netscape 4 did have ILAYER, but Netscape 4 generally sucked). I actually thought I invented this technique, and used it on many projects to much success.
- Java – Meh, too bad about the JVM. Same basic technique, though.
- XMLHTTPRequest – Slightly more recent (circa IE5/1999 I think). This object IS what modern AJAX code runs on. Firefox, et al have only added similar objects in the last couple years.
“Remote Scripting” was Microsoft’s term for this technique. (Heck, here’s an April 1999 MSDN article on the topic).
SO, I’m rather annoyed when well-known journalists say Microsoft is working “Not to be left out of any development trends…”, or better yet,
“Microsoft has decided [Ajax] is something it can’t ignore… the Redmondians have jumped on the Ajax bandwagon.”.
…Microsoft built that bandwagon.