GW-BASIC is a variation of the BASIC programming language developed by Microsoft. It was designed for the IBM PC and is similar to the IBM BASICA language, but it is a self-contained executable and unlike other BASIC derived languages; it does not need the ROM BASIC.
Some of the GW-BASIC features include:
- CLS command for clearing the screen.
- PRINT USING and LPRINT commands.
- WHILE-WEND loops.
- INKEY$ function for reading keystrokes.
- IN/OUT instructions for I/O.
- error trapping capabilities.
First used in 1983, Microsoft bundled GW-BASIC with the MS-DOS operating systems on IBM compatible computers. Microsoft also developed and released a BASIC compiler called BASCOM, which was compatible with GW-BASIC.