IBM Readies VisualAge to Challenge Microsoft

IBM in the third quarter will release a version of its VisualAge development tool for the Basic programming language that the company hopes will be a high-end competitor to Microsoft's Visual Basic.

VisualAge for Basic, currently completing its first beta cycle under the code name Bart, will be targeted at developers who want a programming language that is easier to use than IBM's VisualAge for the Cobol, Smalltalk and C++ languages.

It will be released in the third quarter for OS/2 and Windows NT, with other operating system versions likely to follow, says Skip McGaughey, IBM's market manager for the VisualAge family, in Somers, New York. No pricing has been announced.

Although VisualAge for Basic will closely resemble Microsoft's competing product in appearance and function. IBM plans to add high-end features such as object-oriented extensions and client-server application generation, McGaughey says, to distinguish its product from the market leader.

IBM is also planning to release this year a version of VisualAge based on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java programming language for building Internet applications, McGaughey says.

IBM continues to expand the VisualAge family

Product Release date

VisualAge for Smalltalk April 1994

VisualAge for C++ June 1995

VisualAge for Cobol November 1995

VisualAge for Basic Summer 1996

VisualAge for Java Second half of 1996

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