On the bill gates biography it says "Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer" but did he use this language to make windows?

im not thinking they used basic. my guess is they used c and assembly to create windows. and maybe some c++. i couldnt find anything to prove what windows was writen in but im pretty sure it was c and assembly

On the bill gates biography it says "Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer" but did he use this language to make windows?

The two have no relationship to each other. Billy "programmed" BASIC for the Altair 8800 in 1976 (actually, according to the evidence, he dumpster-dived Digital BASIC), the first version of Windows wasn't started until about 6 years later--by which time Gates was no longer a "programmer".

As was pointed out earlier, Windows is a mixture of C and machine language.

just having the thought of coding windows in BASIC is already a nightmare. Imagine all the lines of codes that you'll have to do just to make a window move with a mouse showing all its contents... geeesshh...

They used C, which explains why Windows crashes so often.

That's an ignorant overgeneralization. You meant to say "The used C poorly, which explains why Windows crashes so often."

William Gates' claim to the "Programmers Hall of Fame" is DOS, specifically MS-DOS for the the first IBM PC. I think that was written in assembler. It was a great achievement in those early PC days. This comes from a person who used some of the alternative disk operating systems.

The graphical user interface called Windows came later, patterned after an effort at Xerox, and later the Apple Lisa computer. A graphical user interface would have been too much for the slow speed and limited memory of early PCs.

I have heard that present day Windows and the .Net framework are being increasingly written in C# (Csharp) rather than the more traditional C++

Except that Gates didn't write DOS, he purchased it from some guy for like $10k or something and then turned around and sold it to IBM for tons more money than he paid.

That's an ignorant overgeneralization. You meant to say "The used C poorly, which explains why Windows crashes so often."

No, I mean they used C, instead of some language with stronger runtime checking for errors.

I was reading his book some time ago.
He made a version for a really really old comp can't remember the name but I know it would not have been strong enough to make windows. I think windows was made in C but I am not sure.

Except that Gates didn't write DOS, he purchased it from some guy for like $10k or something and then turned around and sold it to IBM for tons more money than he paid.

It's also said that Gates's DOS was mostly 'dumpster-dived' OS/2, No wonder he grins all the time.

It's also said that Gates's DOS was mostly 'dumpster-dived' OS/2, No wonder he grins all the time.

I don't think thats very true OS/2 is more of a unix like OS like xenix with lots of DOS support.And MS DOS was made before OS/2.

They used C, which explains why Windows crashes so often.

Linux and UNIX are written in C and there the most stable operating systems around IMHO so your point is invalid. Windows is only unstable as it is badly written.

C is the best language in terms of speed (apart from maybe assembley, but thats very cryptic so c is better for writing large apps like whole oses in - i do believe that small parts of windows are in assembler though.)

No, I mean they used C, instead of some language with stronger runtime checking for errors.

what other languages?

any modern languages (Python, Java, All of .NET) are all slower than C as they require some sort of framework or interpreter which must be made in a language such as C anyway.

The most optimized execution speed can only be achieved with assembly code. However, Microsoft's 20,000 programmers would now be half way through the fist version of Windows.

You have to balance execution and development speed to make a little money in the trade.

The first version of Windows was written in Pascal. It was so unstable that subsequent versions were written in C. C and Pascal are both compiled languages - they convert your program from something resembling human language into the primitive instructions understood by the machine. Basic was designed as an interpreted teaching language for beginners. Intepreters allow you to chop and change and deal with mistakes without crashing - great for rapid development and learning - but they tend to be much slower than compiled languages.
For that reason Basic would have been unsuitable for writing an operating system.

DOS was actually an improvement of CP/M.

Compiled Basic would have been suitable.

The reason Pascal was not suitable was that it is not designed to operate ports.

Windows was originally an application written in Pascal that ran on top of DOS. Pascal was popular in the eighties because it embodied the principles of structured programming. It was a very restrictive language since it was intended to channel the programmer into good programming practice and forbid the bad. It was a real nanny language. Very frustrating. It was overtaken by C which gave the programmer greater freedom especially with hardware.

It is correct that The Bill didn't write DOS - see http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa033099.htm for a quick history. Also note that the Altair BASIC was also used on the TRS-80, which sold a lot more units than Altair. Windows is indeed C and assembler, with C++ in the later versions. As for NET - it is mostly just a shell over Windows COM technology. COM is still being supported and upgraded by Microsoft, which makes me wonder if NET will ever become a 'real' OS, even in Redmond.

Windows was originally an application written in Pascal that ran on top of DOS. Pascal was popular in the eighties because it embodied the principles of structured programming. It was a very restrictive language since it was intended to channel the programmer into good programming practice and forbid the bad. It was a real nanny language. Very frustrating. It was overtaken by C which gave the programmer greater freedom especially with hardware.

I never heard about the Pascal link to Windows before. Where did you hear that? As for Pascal being a 'nanny' language, why did Borland write their C compiler in Delphi? Yeah, Pascal used to be a little nerdy, but that was 20 years ago. I'm not aware of anything important that C can do and modern Pascal cannot. On the other hand, Pascal is a LOT easier to debug and maintain thanks to all of those arcane rules. Like a friend of mine once said - there are least 10 ways to do anything in C. 9 of them are a bad idea and the 10th one will really screw you. Amen.

a lot of windows instability comes from the need to support so much, IE 95% of the market share.

It is hard to write an OS (i would assume) that requires the support of nearly every peiece of software / hardware developed.

Not to mention with so many people that could be using a specific version at any given time it is no wonder that you hear about all of its bugs/flaws.

I would rather hear that then nothing at all!

Nobody is knocking Windows here. The original question was 'Was windows made with basic'. That's a little ambiguous as it stands - it could be asking whether Windows came with the basic language as part of the package or it could be a question about which language Windows was originally written in.
There was also some question as to Bill Gates' programming ability.
Apparently he's the real deal. He has a knack for keeping the whole project in his mind which gives him the ability to home in on pertinent details.
I read somewhere on the history of Windows that the earliest version was an application written in Pascal which ran on top of DOS . It was unstable mainly because of the limits of the Pascal language at that time (I will try to find a link to this).
Pascal was a language with an ideology built in - to shackle the programmer and make bad coding impossible. I have great respect for languages that impose some discipline -Java, Eiffel and the sadly underrated Ada - but Pascal just went too far in its original form - the modern implementations succeeded insofar as they bypassed these barriers.
I will try to come back with links to back up what I have written here.


It is hard to write an OS (i would assume) that requires the support of nearly every peiece of software / hardware developed.

Thats no excuse for being unstable. Linux supports the more pieces of hardware than any other OS ever made and it is extremely stable.

Thats no excuse for being unstable. Linux supports the more pieces of hardware than any other OS ever made and it is extremely stable.

ummm...i've had linux crash and be just as flaky as windows.


It is hard to call one version of an OS more stable than another. In fact a properly treated install of windows runs great and can be left running continously with no problems.

the same could be said of *nix.

what's funny is that people try to say that it is more unstable over another OS when windows has had far more testing and development. You see more of windows errors/flaws/bugs...etc because it gets more testing from the end user because it almost completely dominates the market share.


However wehn setting up linux (be it SuSE, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora...etc) i can run into just as many errors, a lot of which are due to poor hardware support but i wont ever hear that on the news or on mainstream outlets because nobody cares about that.

>ummm...i've had linux crash and be just as flaky as windows.

You have had linux crash? Impossible. The X server might crash or a tty but Linux (almost)never has kernel panics.

>ummm...i've had linux crash and be just as flaky as windows.

You have had linux crash? Impossible. The X server might crash or a tty but Linux (almost)never has kernel panics.

hahahah impossible, now that is niave about OS

in fact my first time running fedora when i was trying to update the system it crashed, locked up and i couldnt do anything. I had to hard restart the system.

>in fact my first time running fedora when i was trying to update the system it crashed, locked up and i couldnt do anything. I had to hard restart the system.

Fine, good distros almost never crash. I've never had to reboot on my system.

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