Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition Launches Explosion in Component Market

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced widespread industry support for the Microsoft® Visual Basic® programming system version 5.0, Control Creation Edition. The Control Creation Edition, the newest member of the popular rapid application development tool family, is the easy way to create ActiveX
Controls for enriching Internet and client/server applications. The beta version, released Oct. 28 at the Microsoft Site Builder Conference, is now in use by more than 100,000 developers and ISVs worldwide. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Web site at
(connect-time charges may apply). Microsoft and CMP Media’s TechWeb also announced today that they will co-sponsor The Visual Basic ActiveX Control Creation Contest, designed to spur the creativity of the developer community, beginning Jan. 1, 1997.

Widespread Industry Demand for Control Creation Edition

Developers and ISVs alike are clamoring for the Control Creation Edition because it is the easy way to package functionality as a reusable component. ActiveX Controls are fast, compact, reusable software components that can be used in a large range of products, including Internet browsers, productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 97, and development tools such as Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, PowerBuilder and others. ActiveX Controls can also be hosted in products that license Visual Basic 5.0, Applications Edition, such as future versions of Autodesk AutoCad, Adobe Photoshop and dozens of other soon-to-be-released software applications.

Since its introduction in late October, there have been over 80,000 downloads of the Control Creation Edition. More than 35,000 Internet developers, corporate developers and Microsoft Solution Providers have received a beta copy at recent Microsoft developer and training events.

“We are excited by the large developer community response,”
said Brad Chase, vice president of marketing, Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft.
“Our goal was to bring ActiveX within the grasp of every developer and make active component creation simple and fast, and we have delivered. The resulting proliferation of ActiveX Controls will provide the industry with a wealth of components, and developers and end users alike will benefit from this rich, component-based development.”

Developers Praise Ease of Use and Enhanced Functionality

“Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition is incredibly easy to use,”
said Daniel Shapiro of Interlog Internet Services, an Internet service provider in Toronto.
“I had never built an active component for the Web before, but after getting my hands on the Control Creation Edition I built my first ActiveX Control in less than 30 minutes.”

In the past, only hard-core C++ or Java
™programmers could create ActiveX Controls,”
said Ken Miller, chief technology officer, 32X Inc.
“Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition has removed these barriers and brought component creation within the reach of the millions of developers like me.”

At the Microsoft Site Builder Conference in October, more than 200 developers new to component creation built more than 640 ActiveX Controls during a two-hour
“Control Fest”

Control Creation Edition Fuels Growing Industry for ActiveX Controls

The introduction of Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition has helped fuel the rapid growth of the component market. Currently, ISVs are marketing nearly 2,500 ActiveX Controls, and the industry segment has seen more than 500 percent growth since the beginning of the year. Increasing numbers of controls vendors are now using the Control Creation Edition to extend and aggregate existing controls, reducing time to market and providing significant benefits to customers and end users.

“The Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition is a great way of customizing existing ActiveX Controls into aggregate ActiveX components,”
said Sam Patterson, general manager, MicroHelp Inc.
“In our Explorer X-ponents product, we take three of our C++-based ActiveX Controls and with Visual Basic, Control Creation Edition create a complex ‘Windows® Explorer’ control that users can drop on a form for most of the functionality of the Windows Explorer. We provide the source code for programmers so they can further customize the resulting control.”

Control Creation Edition Draws Rave Reviews

In addition to positive response from developers, Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition has drawn rave reviews from the press. Here’s what industry pundits have said about Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition:

  • CNET, Mike Sampson:
    “Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition, now in beta, makes it a snap to create ActiveX Controls for your Web pages.”

  • InfoWorld, Maggie Biggs:
    “You don’t have to be a C++ guru or Java developer to create ActiveX Controls. With Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition, you can easily create and reuse ActiveX Controls to include in your browser-based or client/server applications. … If you are serious about adding ActiveX Controls to client/server or browser-based applications, give Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition a spin.”


Microsoft and TechWeb to Launch Control Creation Contest

The Visual Basic ActiveX Control Creation Contest, scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 1997, will feature exciting prizes for best new ActiveX Controls in a number of categories, as well as a grand prize of a trip to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., where the winner will demonstrate the best new control along with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates at Microsoft Developer Days in March. For more information on the contest, please visit
( /activexpress/contest/challenge.html)

Pricing and Availability

The beta version of Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition is available for free download (except for connect-time charges, if any) from the Microsoft Web site at
. The final version is scheduled to be available as a free downloadable standalone product as well as integrated into the Standard, Professional and Enterprise editions of Visual Basic 5.0 when they are released next year.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Visual Basic, ActiveX and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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