The preview release of the tool, which will be posted tomorrow to Microsoft's Web site, works with the company's Internet Explorer Web browser and lets developers edit DHTML code.
Microsoft said its goal is to provide the tool to third-party software vendors. The company said it has signed up 11 software makers, including Allaire, Blue Sky Software, and Sybase, to use the tool in future software packages.
Microsoft is pushing DHTML as a way to build Web browser applications. The company in recent months has backed away from its ActiveX component technology for building large Net-based applications, due to performance concerns and a ho-hum reception from developers. The company is backing DHTML and scripting as the best ways to build mass-distributed Web applications.
Microsoft also said it is holding a design review tomorrow at its Redmond, Washington, headquarters to discuss the DHTML component with software vendors.