I'm curious to see the industry attention about something called Ajax lately. Mary Jo Foley writes about it at http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1777009,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535 and many people are talking about it. It's exciting to see great web based applications such as google maps created, however I'm struggling to see anything new here. One of the first types of these applications was Microsoft Outlook Web Access for Exchange many years ago taking advantage of the power of the then new IE5.0. Others did the same with applicaitons such as www.oddpost.com which was later purchased by Yahoo.
Having worked on IE over the years I love to see people taking advantage of the power of the browser, but why the sudden attention? It's DHTML for client display with XMLHttp to communicate with the server, with these components you can build some pretty amazing things. It's been possible since IE5.0 which was released in 1998. Looking at the documentation though maybe we should create some better examples around XMLHTTP to show the power of this.