Programming Windows: Visual Basic to the Future (Premium)


Looking back at Microsoft’s history from a software development perspective, I’m struck by how dedicated the firm remained over time to BASIC, the language that co-founder Bill Gates sold as its first commercial product. Microsoft championed BASIC far past the point that its competitors did, and it even proved some wrong about this dated language with the blockbuster release of Visual Basic in 1991.

But as the 90s unfolded, Microsoft’s obsession with BASIC may have given it a bit of tunnel-vision with regards to the language innovations and new platforms that were happening outside the company. By the time the decade ended, the Internet had arrived as a major disruptor that was driven by companies other than Microsoft, platforms other than Windows, and languages other than BASIC.

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