Friday, September 26, 2008

Microsoft and compilers

Back in the early 1980's when I was writing inventory management software I would spend most of my time using the Applesoft BASIC interpreter for development. Periodically I would take my BASIC source code and feed it into a compiler. We liked to use Microsoft's Applesoft BASIC Compiler. At that time Microsoft was more of a programming tools vendor than an operating systems vendor (they did sell MS-DOS, but not Windows).

Microsoft really did help launch the microcomputer revolution. They provided BASIC for many computers, and without this people probably wouldn't have written so much software. People say over and over again that Visicalc was the "killer app" that make the computer market grow, but I think that BASIC really deserves that award.

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