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March 6, 1988
Microsoft Buys Tripod

Alan Cooper, the 'father' of Visual Basic, shows a drag-and-drop shell prototype called Tripod to Bill Gates. Microsoft negotiates to buy the concept, now code-named Ruby. The Tool includes a widget control box, the ability to add widgets dynamically, and a small language engine.

January 1, 1991
PowerSoft's Powerbuilder Debuts

DataWindow gives point-and-click SQL data access.

March 20, 1991
Visual Basic 1.0 Debuts at Windows World

Microsoft marries QuickBasic to Ruby shell app and gives it a new code name: Thunder. The result is the first tool that lets you create Windows apps quickly, easily, and visually. Features include a drag-and=drop control toolbox, codeless UI creation, and an event-oriented programming model.

May 1991
Third Party Market Born

Several standard-setting add-ons become available at or slightly after VB1's introduction, including MicroHelp's VBTools.

May 1991
Sheridan Software's VBAssist Debuts

First add-on to integrate directly into the IDE

March 1992
Visual Basic 2.0 Toolkit (Rawhide) Released

This toolkit integrated several third-party tools into a single package, putting controls in the hands of many VB developers for the first time. It provided instrumental in helping VB's third party market achieve critical mass.

September 1992
Visual Basic 1.0 for DOS is released. Figure this one out :)

The language itself was not quite compatible with Visual Basic for Windows, as it was actually the next version of Microsoft's DOS-based BASIC compilers, QuickBASIC and BASIC Professional Development System.

November 1992
Visual Basic 2 Debuts

Adds ODBC Level 1 support, MDI forms, and object variables. First version to feature the Professional Edition. The programming environment was easier to use, and its speed was improved.

November 1992
Microsoft Access Ships

It brings VB's combination of extensibility, ease-of-use, and visual point-and-click emphasis to a Relational Database. It also includes a macro language called Access BASIC that contains a subset of VB 2.0's core syntax.

June 1993
Visual Basic 3 Debuts

Integrates the Access Engine (Jet), OLE Automation and reporting. It came in both Standard and Professional versions. Visual Basic 3 included version 1.1 of the Microsoft Jet DatabaseEngine that could read and write Jet (or Access) 1.x databases.

May 1995
Borland's Delphi Debuts

The perennial preview for the features you'll find in the next VB release.

Fall 1996
Internet Explorer 3.0 Ships

Features include VBScript, which contains a subset of VB. It lets developers leverage their existing VB skills in Web programming.

October 1996
Visual Basic 4 Debuts

Permits you to create your own add-ins. Also introduces classes and OCX's. Was the first version that could created 32 bit as well as 16-bit Windows programs (remember that?)

Winter 1996
NT Option Pack 4 Released

Includes Internet Information Server 3.0, which includes ASP. Enabled VB programmers to leverage their existing skills on Web servers.

January 1997
Microsoft Office 97 Debuts

Developer Edition integrates VBA into all Office apps (except Outlook which uses VBScript)

April 1997
Visual Basic 5 Debuts

Incorporates compiler, WithEvents, and the ability to create ActiveX controls. A free, downloadable Control Creation Edition was also released for creation of ActiveX controls. It was also used as an introductory form of Visual Basic: a regular. exe project could be created and run in the IDE, but not compiled.

October 1998
Visual Basic 6 Debuts

Introduces WebClasses, windowless controls, data designers, new reporting designers, and the ability to create data sources.

February 2002
Visual Basic.Net  (VB 7.0) Debuts

April 2003
Visual Basic.Net 2003 (VB 7.1) Debuts

March 31, 2005
Mainstream support for Visual Basic 6 ends

October 18, 2005
Visual Basic.Net 2005 (VB 8.0) Debuts

October 18 2005
Visual Basic.Net 2005 Express Version Introduced

November 19, 2007
Visual Basic.Net 2008 (VB 9.0) Debuts

November 19, 2007
Visual Basic.Net 2008 Express Version Introduced

March 31, 2008
Extended support for Visual Basic 6 ends

November 19, 2010
Visual Basic.Net 2010 Express Version Introduced

??? VBx (VB 10.0)

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