BASIC (an acronym for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use.
The original BASIC was designed in 1964 by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. BASIC was first successfully used to run programs on the school’s General Electric computer system. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, when home computers were in their heyday, BASIC did as much as anything else to make them useful.
According to the TIOBE index, Visual Basic .NET is ranked as the 5th most popular programming language. BBC BASIC is ranked outside the top 50.
There is a good range of open source software available to write and compile BASIC programs. The table below shows our 11 recommended free BASIC software. Click the links to learn about the software.