When Chromeffects--an odd combination of DirectX and HTML/Web technology that requires some pretty serious hardware--was demoed at the Windows 98 launch in June, most people just shook their heads and wondered who Microsoft was targeting the technology at. Chromeffects, which requires a minimum of a Pentium II 350 with AGP graphics, was just too resource heavy for most users. Well, Microsoft apparently agrees that the product is just too much and it's been put on hold indefinitely. All that's known now is that Chromeffects, which was initially due in the first Windows 98 service pack, is going back to the drawing board for some work.

"We're stepping back now and re-architecturing things," said Windows product manager Rob Bennett. "Chromeffects will ship as an integrated feature in some future version of Windows."

In what is presumably a related development, Eric Engstrom, the former general manager for Microsoft's multimedia technologies, has been moved to the MSN team, where he will work on Web product development