Basic was a program made in the 70s. It was a pretty popular amateur language. People used it to make programs for companies, word processing, or for little arcade games. Programming clubs were made, floppy disks were passed around, and more people were getting into the habit of programming their own stuff. The Basic tree had begun to sprout.
Then, in the early 80s, QuickBasic (known by some as QB) was published by Microsoft. Obviously it made things quicker for the progammers who were used to regular, number-lined Basic. QuickBasic was just as popular with programmers as Basic, and soon more QB fans started to come in.
In 1987, Microsoft came back with QBasic, a program a lot of us still use today. QBasic came with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1, so most people with a PC had the option of using it for programming. This new version of Basic had old programmers coming back to their keyboards and making their own programs.
Well, what about QuickBasic? In 1991, Microsoft came back with QB 4.5. This program was sold for about $80, and came with a quicker, more efficient layout. You also had the option to use the Basic Compiler and make your ordinary .bas files into custom .exe files. QB 4.5, unlike QBasic 1.1, was not passed around as freeware on the Internet. Microsoft has yet to sign QB 4.5 as a freeware program.
QB and QBasic got a boost when the Internet came about. Suddenly sites made by loyal programmers appeared on the net. These people didn't want to see Basic die and be forgotten, their goal was to inspire new people to get in on the action.
This legacy of Basic is not dead yet, in fact it is far from dead; there are about 20,000 programmers (rough estimate) still out there. From the hard-to-find QB 4.5, to the mysterious QB 7.1, the QBasic Legacy is not over, and it might get even more popular in the coming years. I hope you have taken an intrest in QB and QBasic by reading the last few paragraphs, and I hope you continue to browse and learn more about this very rewarding language.