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QBasic was intended as a replacement for GW-BASIC. It was based on the earlier QuickBASIC 4.5 compiler but without QuickBASIC’s compiler and linker elements. Version 1.0 was shipped together with MS-DOS 5.0 and higher, as well as Windows 95, Windows NT 3.x, and Windows NT 4.0. IBM recompiled QBasic and included it in PC-DOS 5.x, as well as OS/2 2.0 onwards. eComStation, descended from OS/2 code, includes QBasic 1.0. QBasic 1.1 is included with MS-DOS 6.x, and, without EDIT, in Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me. Starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft no longer includes QBasic with their operating systems. (However, some localized versions of Windows 2000 and Windows XP still have it, and it can be given out as freeware.)…

QBasic (as well as the built-in MS-DOS Editor) is backward compatible with DOS releases prior to 5.0 (down to at least DOS 3.20). However, if used on any 8088/8086 computers, or on some 80286 computers, the QBasic program may run very slowly, or perhaps not at all, due to its memory size. Until MS-DOS 7, MS-DOS Editor required QBasic: the “edit.com” program simply started QBasic in editor mode only, and this mode can also be entered by running QBASIC.EXE with the /EDITOR switch (i.e., command line “QBASIC /EDITOR”.


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