Any one who would want to get into programming will stay in it only when he/she feels its easy and fun to do. It would not be fun for a first time programmer to start with Visual Basic or java.
Small basic aims at "bringing fun back to programming" – Courtesy Microsoft
For the Love of programming
Why can’t we learn to speak computer language like to speak English or French? Will we not do so if it was simple? Microsoft aims "Small basic" to be fun for first time developers or people who want to give programming a shot.
It was an extremely simple User Interface, easy to remember syntax (this is what the computer understands), yet it covers till simple graphics!
Visit the Small Basic site to download and get more information
I gave it a try and enjoyed it. There is a wonderful illustrated Document about what is a programming language, what is a computer program, how to use it, how to program, how to run the program and how to use small basic.
Will you believe there are almost 2 pages that talks about a "Hello world program” (For the benefit of people who have not heard hello world, let say when we try to learn a new language say, French the first word we would learn is bonjour which stands for hello)
There is even a window which tells about what a particular syntax would do as you type it.
If you are programmer/not a programmer, confused if you want to download this and give it a try? Here is the thing, have a look at small basic document before you want to try it out, I am sure u will try it.
I am sure you will want to know how to get started with all this. Visit here to head a head start
Here is a screen shot of the programming environment(click to enlarge)