GW Basic Language

GW-BASIC is a vernacular of the BASIC programming language created by Microsoft from IBM BASICA. It is practically indistinguishable from BASICA, yet is a completely independent executable and needn’t bother with the Cassette BASIC ROM.

gw basic language
gw basic language

It was packaged with MS-DOS working frameworks on IBM PC compatibles by Microsoft. Microsoft additionally sold a BASIC compiler, BASCOM, good with GW-BASIC, for programs requiring more speed. The language is reasonable for straightforward games, business programs and so forth.

Since it was incorporated with most forms of MS-DOS, it was likewise a minimal effort route for some hopeful software engineers to get familiar with the essentials of PC programming.With the arrival of MS-DOS 5.0, GW-BASIC’s place was in the end taken by QBasic, the translator part of the independently accessible QuickBASIC compiler.


  2. WHILE…WEND circles
  3. Learning of GW basic is fun
  4. Writing style
  5. Summary
  6. Conclusion


IBM BASICA and GW-BASIC are generally ports of MBASIC rendition 5.x, however with included highlights explicitly for the IBM PC equipment.

gw basic language
gw basic language

Basic highlights of BASIC-80 5.x and BASICA/GW-BASIC include:

WHILE…WEND circles

  • Variable names of up to 40 characters
  • Choice BASE explanation to set the beginning list of exhibit factors as either 0 or 1
  • Dynamic string space assignment
  • LINE INPUT proclamation for perusing in information from the console
  • CALL proclamation for executing machine language schedules
  • CHAIN and MERGE directions
  • Capacity to spare projects in either tokenized parallel configuration or ASCII content


There are a few hypotheses on what the initials “GW” represent. Greg Whitten, an early Microsoft worker who built up the guidelines in the organization’s BASIC compiler line, says Bill Gates picked the name GW-BASIC. Whitten alludes to it as Gee-Whiz BASIC and is uncertain if Gates named the program after him.

gw basic language
gw basic language

The Microsoft User Manual from Microsoft Press likewise alludes to it by this name. It might have additionally been nicknamed Gee-Whiz in light of its various illustrations commands. Other regular speculations with regards to the initials’ birthplaces incorporate “Illustrations and Windows”, “Doors, William” (Microsoft’s leader at that point), or “Entryways Whitten” (the two principle architects of the program).

Learning of GW basic is fun

GW-BASIC is a variety of the BASIC programming language created by Microsoft. GW-BASIC was intended for the IBM PC and is like IBM BASICA language, yet is an independent executable and dissimilar to other BASIC determined dialects; it needn’t bother with the ROM BASIC.

A portion of the GW-BASIC highlights include:

  • CLS order for clearing the screen.
  • PRINT USING and LPRINT directions.
  • WHILE-WEND circles.
  • INKEY$ work for understanding keystrokes.
  • IN/OUT directions for I/O.
  • blunder catching abilities.

First utilized in 1983, Microsoft packaged GW-BASIC with the MS-DOS working frameworks on IBM good PCs. Microsoft additionally created and discharged a BASIC compiler called BASCOM, which was good with GW-BASIC.

Writing style

This post has been written in expository writing style.


The capacity to “crunch” program lines by overlooking spaces, a typical element of prior Microsoft BASIC executions, was expelled from BASIC-80 5.x and BASICA/GWBASIC.

gw basic language
gw basic language

Essential 80 projects not utilizing PEEK/POKE explanations run under GW-BASIC. BASICA includes numerous highlights for the IBM PC, for example, sound, illustrations, and memory directions. Highlights not present in BASIC-80 incorporate the capacity to execute the RND work without any parameters and the capacity to likewise spare projects in a “secured” design, keeping them from being LISTed. BASICA likewise permits twofold exactness numbers to be utilized with numerical and trigonometric capacities, for example, COS, SIN, and ATN, which wasn’t permitted in 8-piece renditions of BASIC.

This component was ordinarily not empowered and required the discretionary parameter/D at startup, i.e., GWBASIC/D. Essential’s memory impression was marginally expanded in the event that it was utilized.

Microsoft didn’t offer a nonexclusive form of MS-DOS until v3.20 in 1986; preceding at that point, all variations of the working framework were OEM variants. Contingent upon the OEM, BASIC was disseminated as either BASICA.EXE or GWBASIC.EXE. The previous ought not be mistaken for IBM BASICA, which consistently came as a .COM document. A few variations of BASIC has additional highlights to help a specific machine. For instance, the AT&T and Tandy adaptations of DOS incorporate a unique GW-BASIC that underpins their improved sound and illustrations abilities.

The underlying rendition of GW-BASIC is the one included with Compaq DOS 1.13, discharged with the Compaq Portable in 1983, and was practically equivalent to IBM BASICA 1.10. It utilizes the CP/M-inferred document control hinders for circle get to and doesn’t bolster subdirectories. Later forms bolster subdirectories, improved illustrations, and different capacities.

GW-BASIC 3.20 (1986) includes EGA illustrations support (no rendition of BASICA or GW-BASIC had VGA support) and is the last new form discharged before it was supplanted by QBasic.

Purchasers of Hercules Graphics Cards got an extraordinary form of GW-BASIC on the card’s utility plate that is called HBASIC, which includes support for its 720×348 monochrome illustrations. Different renditions of BASICA/GW-BASIC don’t bolster Hercules illustrations and can just show designs on that card using outsider CGA copying, for example, SIMCGA.

GW-BASIC has an order line-based coordinated advancement condition (IDE) in view of Dartmouth BASIC. Utilizing the cursor development keys, any line showed on screen can be altered. It additionally incorporates work key easy routes at the base of the screen.

Like other early microcomputer forms of BASIC, GW-BASIC needs a large number of the structures required for organized programming, for example, nearby factors, and GW-BASIC projects executed moderately gradually, on the grounds that it was a deciphered language. All program lines must be numbered; all non-numbered lines are viewed as directions in direct mode to be executed right away. Program source documents are regularly spared in parallel packed arrangement with tokens supplanting watchwords, with a choice to spare in ASCII content form.

The GW-BASIC direction line condition has directions to RUN, LOAD, SAVE, LIST the present program, or quit to the working SYSTEM; these directions can likewise be utilized as program explanations. There is little help for organized programming in GW-BASIC. All IF/THEN/ELSE restrictive articulations must be composed on one line, in spite of the fact that WHILE/WEND explanations may amass numerous lines.

Capacities must be characterized utilizing the single line DEF FNf(x)=<mathematical capacity of x> articulation (e.g., DEF FNLOG(base,number)=LOG(number)/LOG(base)). The information sort of factors can be indicated with a character toward the finish of the variable name: A$ is a series of characters, A% is a whole number, and so on. Gatherings of factors can likewise be set to default types dependent on the underlying letter of their name by utilization of the DEFINT, DEFSTR, and so on., articulations. The default type for undeclared factors not recognized by such composing proclamations, is single-accuracy skimming point (32-piece MBF).

GW-BASIC permits utilization of joystick and light pen input gadgets. GW-BASIC can peruse from and write to documents and COM ports; it can likewise do occasion catching for ports. Since the tape port interface of the first IBM PC was never executed on compatibles, tape activities are not bolstered. GW-BASIC can play basic music utilizing the PLAY articulation, requiring a series of notes spoke to in a music large scale language, e.g., PLAY “edcdeeL2edfedL4c”.

All the more low-level control is conceivable with the SOUND proclamation, which takes the contentions of a recurrence in hertz and a length in clock ticks for the standard inward PC speaker in IBM machines. Thus, stable is restricted to single channel signals and whistles as befits a ‘business’ machine. Locally established PCs like the Tandy 1000 permit up to three channels of sound for the SOUND and PLAY commands.


GW-BASIC is perfect with Microsoft/IBM BASICA, yet was circle based and didn’t require the ROM BASIC. Microsoft packaged GW-BASIC with MS-DOS working frameworks on IBM PC compatibles.

gw basic language
gw basic language

Microsoft likewise sold a BASIC compiler, BASCOM, good with GW-BASIC, for applications requiring more speed. The language was reasonable for basic games, business programs and such. Since it was incorporated with most forms of MS-DOS, it was additionally a reasonable route for some eventual software engineers to gain proficiency with the basics of PC programming. With the arrival of MS-DOS 5.0, QBasic, a chop down rendition of the independently accessible QuickBASIC compiler, assumed in the long run GW-BASIC’s position.

The fundamental confinements of GW-BASIC are the 64kB program size breaking point and the absence of organized programming. Along these lines, this language was improper for huge undertakings.