Microsoft Basic


(MS-BASIC) A dialect of BASIC from Microsoft, originally developed by Bill Gates in a garage back in the CP/M days. It was originally known as GWBasic, then QBASIC and finally MS-BASIC.

When the MS-DOS operating system came out, it incorporated the GWBASIC.EXE or BASICA.EXE interpreters. GWBASIC ("Gee Whiz") incorporated graphics and a screen editor and was compatible with earlier BASICs.

QBASIC was more sophisticated. Version 4.5 had a full screen editor, debugger and compiler. The compiler could also produce executable files but to run these a utility program (BRUN44.EXE) had to be present. Thus source code could be kept private.

From DOS 5.0 or 6.0 onward, MS-BASIC was standard.

Version 1.1 produced stand-alone executables and could display graphics.

Usenet newsgroup: comp.lang.basic.misc.

[Relationship to BASIC in ROM on first IBM PC?]

Last updated: 1995-05-12

Nearby terms:

Microsoft AccessMicrosoft BasicMicrosoft Certified Application Developer

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