Microsoft Small Basic – a renewed Basic for children and absolute beginners

I, like many others my age, started my programming career learning BASIC. Initially on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum clone, after that on Commodore 64. Well, Microsoft wants to motivate the new generation to go into software development by releasing the 2010 equivalent of good old BASIC called Microsoft Small Basic. And it is small, at least by today standards, a meager 5.6MB install file for the current version, 0.9. I just downloaded it (for free, of course) , the installation took 15 seconds and I was good to go.

The application is very easy to use, it has Intellisense (a scaled down version of it, and very user friendly) and contextual help in the side bar. I intend to play with my 6 year old son in the weekend and see if he has any interest in it.

Small Basic is based on .NET technology, of course object oriented and also supports Silverlight, which allows you to publish your creations directly on your website and the visitors can run them in their browser, just like a Flash application. Microsoft also provides a converter to help you later “graduate” to Visual Basic. Check after the break for additional screen-shots. For more information, visit Microsoft Small Basic website.

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