Most of the descriptions are taken from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia.
Visual Basic (VB) is a descendant of the BASIC programming language that is developed by the Microsoft Corporation. It is an event driven programming language centered around a very powerful forms engine that enables rapid development of graphical user interface (GUI) applications and a complex database object library (ADO). It is used primarily for business applications such as database front ends, and its relative VBScript is the de facto language for Active Server Pages. VB is very friendly to a novice programmer. Its syntax tries to resemble English, it doesn't require the use of pointer arithmetic, and it has a vast library of utility objects to do everything from printing a Microsoft Word document to printing barcodes or displaying a web page. A highly skilled programmer can build a web browser in an afternoon using components provided with Visual Basic.
VBA is built into every product in the Microsoft Office family (Word, Excel, Access etc.), and also in several third-part products like Visio. This makes Visual Basic the programming platform with the largest installed base in the world. This makes it an ideal tool for writing small applications for specfic purposes. On the other hand, this fact made it possible that macro viruses written in VBA could spread out, even between the Macintosh and the Windows operating systems.
During the Internet economic boom, programmers were in great demand, and many new programmers entered the field. Friendliness toward novices was instrumental in Visual Basic becoming one of the most common languages in commercial use.
Visual Basic, however, is only for Windows, and writing programs in such a language means dropping portability, which produces an ongoing dependence on Microsoft operating systems. However, there are some products available for other systems that can interpret a subset of the Visual Basic language.