Chat (Windows 2000/NT)

Definition of Chat (Windows NT) in Network Encyclopedia.

What is Chat (in computer networking)?

Chat was an accessory in Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 (winchat.exe) for communicating with text in real-time with other users on the network. Chat was an interactive tool that displays each character as it receives it. Chat supported text-based communication over a Windows network only and is not intended as a tool for Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Chat (Windows NT)
Chat (Windows NT)

The generic term «chat» describes any system that supports text-based communication over a network for logged-in users. Such a system typically includes a display that shows text as another user types it.

How it works

Chat consists of a window with two panes, one for the message you type and one for messages you receive. A user dials another user by specifying the name of the other user’s computer. A chat window then opens on the receiver’s computer. Once the receiver answers, the text that one user types in the left or upper pane immediately appears in the right or lower pane on the other user’s chat window.


The Windows NT and Windows 2000 Chat utility require that the Network Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) service and related services be running on the participating computers. In Windows NT, use the Services applet in Control Panel, and in Windows 2000, use the Services item in Computer Management to set the startup configuration of this service.


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