Microsoft Visual Basic is quite an old programming language, which is hailing from the days when people just started experimenting with programming concepts in old DOS based personal computers. I personally started learning programming in high school with GW-Basic programming language. GW-Basic evolved to Q-Basic, where Microsoft offered a quite intuitive DOS program editor, where the concept of line numbers for every line of code was eliminated, which was otherwise a requirement in GW-Basic. With the passage of time Microsoft developed it's first Windows Basic programming language, known as Visual Basic 1.0. With this, developers could immediately develop Windows based (Desktop based) applications with great ease. This ease let the developers to create applications supporting RAD (Rapid Application Development). The Visual Basic IDE (Integated Development Environment) came supercharged with GUI controls, like buttons, textboxes, menues etc. Creating a Windows application was traditionally done with Visual C++ and MFC, which requires a lot of initial learning curve. For this reason Visual Basic was a developer favorite since it offered the developers to concentrate on the develpment rather than more technical aspect of a computer program like memory dynamics and Operating System handlers.
On this line of continuation, Microsoft created Visual Basic.NET which integrates with the fabric of Microsoft.NET framework. Though it is always adviced that new development must be done in C# programming language for better language acceptibility and flexibility but you can develop any .NET application using your age old Basic programming language - Now called VB.NET!
A Beginner's introduction to VB.net
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