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I have used Microsoft Visual basic 6.0 for two years. The best thing about it is that it always gives you suggestions about what word is coming next. This makes it very easy to learn the language and if you are patient enough you can find out how to do everything. The whole program is very user friendly and the help section is excellent (2 CD's) and you get "Learn Visual Basic Now" with it which is also exellent. Visual Basic is a very confusing programming language but MVB make it easy to get around in the code even in big programs. The worst is that Visual Basic can't do complicated graphics, to do that you need C++. But Visual Basic is the best programming language for beginners and MVB the best compiler.
A friend of mine lent me his copy of VB6 Learning Edition last year, just about the time I started an IT course at university. As things turned out, they use VB to teach the basics of programming on the course, so that was a happy conincidence! Visual Basic is one of the easiest programming languages to learn, with a much more straight-forward syntax than C++ for example. It also deals with OO concepts in a much more simple manner. The Learning Edition comes with a number of videos, which take you through building simple applications. These demonstrate some of the most important concepts in GUI programming. As someone who learnt programming the hard way, VB is a bit of a revelation, it is incredibly easy to create simple projects. Components can be dragged and dropped onto a form, making graphical design extremely easy. The Development environment is very user-friendly, and fully customisable. For around £60, VB6 Learning Edition is an extremely good introduction to programming. You may want to move onto something more powerful once you've mastered the basics though.