Happy 20th Birthday Visual Basic!

Happy 20th Birthday Visual Basic!

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Twenty years ago, May 20th, 1991 at Windows World, in Atlanta, Microsoft founder Bill Gates demoed Visual Basic 1.0. Twenty years later, the 10th version of this latest in an unbroken line of Microsoft BASIC languages stretching back to Microsoft’s founding is still going strong. When you look back over the history of a tool that’s been around that long you start to see some familiar experiences from Wetware products (commonly called children :P ): The cute and cuddly days of its youth, in the 16-bit era; the awkward teen years and the transition to .NET; sibling rivalry with the new baby (C#); and finally getting those braces … er, underscores off :). And now, finally out of those turbulent teen years, a matured language looks to the future. Visual Basic has always had a personality for humanizing programming and with Async methods in vNext it continues that tradition.

You might ask after two-decades how VB can keep re-inventing itself to face modern and future challenges. The answer is quite literally that – re-inventing itself.  OK, more accurately re-writing itself. The VB compiler is being re-written from the ground up in Visual Basic and its syntactic and semantic analysis services exposed through a managed API that exposes parse trees, expression binding, assembly production (and more) to enable a world of new scenarios including REPL, VB as a scripting language, and more. It’s all very exciting! As a VB user for … half my lifetime, now, it’s great to look back and be proud of where VB has been, happy with where it is, and especially excited about where it’s going!

I have many fond memories of Visual Basic and likewise great aspirations for its future and I know millions of customers out there have the same. Please, share your stories (and hopes), and join me in wishing our old :P friend, VB, a Happy 20th Birthday and many more! :D

Anthony D. Green
Program Manager
Visual Basic (code-name "Roslyn") Compiler

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  • Happy birthday to all BASICs, from MICROSOFT BASIC 1983 (MSX, ah good years) until now... VB dotnet.


  • Happy B'day VB

  • Happy birth VB, be care to C#

  • I have lon been working as VB6 Developer, from 2002 and onward, even in these days of DotNet. I am still working as VB6 Developer. Happy birthday to all VB Programmers and VB Team Members at Microsoft.

  • Happy birthday. VB now is using in Iran very useful.

  • Oh I started with QBasic when I was in school. Started my career with VB6. now on VS2008 still it rocks. Happy Birthday Visual Basic :). May lot of things do come out to surprise us.

  • Luv u n Many Many Happy Returns Of The Day VB! Congrats Visual Basic Team!


  • Oh by the way VB was actually developed by some thirdparty until version 3 so it is basically no an MS product from start. MS took over from VB4 onwards.

  • Happy Birthday :) VB was, is and will always remain one of the best languages from the many I have worked with :)

  • Wow! Happy Birthday VB! ^_^

  • I greatly appreciate VB team achievements. For me the milestone was VB 2005, when I decided  switch to it from Delphi. Good luck in further development !

  • Happy Birthday VB, proud and feel happy that i love VB and its my first programming language. Thanks MS and VB Team. And great to see many response on this.

  • Happy Birthday VB!

    My first experience with BASIC was BASICV on the Pr1me Computers. Is was a great language. Until VB5 came out the BASICV compiler was the best! VB5 and later took over it and VB.NET 2002 and higher versions are way better due to true object oriented programming. From VB.NET I don't use GOTO anymore, since the try ... catch construct is far better than the dreaded ON ERROR GOTO.

  • Congrats, VB! I started using VB at 2.0 and actually had VB for DOS (remember DOS?). I have used it ever since when I can.  Keep the vision...

  • VB 1.0 gave me a direction to a path I've never regretted, Happy Birthday.

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