From my understanding, Exalted was written as a sort of secret/forgotten history of the World of Darkness. Then, when tons of people whined about it a lot, White Wolf decided it wasn't that anymore, and they were completely separate games (correct me if I'm wrong).

I think this was ridiculous. For one thing, who cares what the publishing company says is canon or not? It's a game, do what you want. But for another thing, they line up so perfectly that saying there's no connection actually detracts a little.

At least pre-20th Anniversary, the WoD games referred to ages....