Visual Basic was developed by Microsoft in the early 1990s to provide an easy-to-learn event-driven programming language that could take care of the back-end maneuvering necessary to create programs that would run on any Windows system. Derived from BASIC and similarly geared toward rapid application development and GUI construction, Visual Basic (VB) also offers easy database manipulation using data access/remove objects and activeX data objects and controls. It also includes a scripting language that is a subset of the entire VB, called VBScript.
Alan Cooper of Tripod initially designed what would become VB's drag and drop interface before it became a Microsoft project
The VB program itself supplies components which programmers can then arrange visually on the screen before them and tweak using form controls to construct their application, sometimes faster (and cheaper) than in more comprehensive languages like C. Using external function declarations, VB programs may also access the extensive Windows API, or utilize the many third party controls made available by other companies to even further extend the program's capabilities.
In 2005, Microsoft released Visual Basic .NET 1.0 as the newest upgrade to VB. As a large redesign aiming to cover VB's many perceived weaknesses next to older and more low-level languages like C and even Java by that time, VB.NET sacrificed much of its philosophy of being 'beginner-ready' for functionality. However, the result of the new, steeper learning was a vastly improved language capable of almost anything its C#.NET equivalent is. Now the choice of which language to use is more programmer preference than anything else.