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Microsoft Small Basic 1.2 includes Kinect for Small Basic, which introduces three new Kinect objects! It also includes the Lego Mindstorms EV3 extension (EV3 Basic), expands the Dictionary object to translate in 7 languages, fixes the Dictionary object bug, and fixes another 7 crash and error bugs. It also features updated UI text for 15 languages! If you use Windows XP, please see Download Microsoft Small Basic for information about how to download Small Basic 1.0.

Small Basic is the only text-based programming language designed to teach kids and adults how to program in a way that's Fun, Simple, Social, and Gradual. 

Download Small Basic 1.2

You can download Small Basic 1.2 two different ways:

  • Direct English Download - After you download and run the MSI file, the other languages are still available through the English installation wizard. 
  • Download Center Page - You can directly select and download your language from this page. You'll also see more information about what's new. 
If you're downloading on Windows VIsta or Windows 7, please install .NET Framework 4.5 first.

What's New in Small Basic 1.2

New Features


1. Kinect for Small Basic - Small Basic 1.2 introduces three Kinect objects: KinectBodyList, KinectFaceList, and KinectWindow. With these objects, you can program with the Microsoft Kinect Sensor and the information that it captures. You can:

  • Show the color, infrared, depth, body index, and body sensor data
  • Capture images from the color, infrared, depth, and body index sensors
  • Replace the background behind people in the foreground with another image (this is similar to chroma key compositing or “green screen” processing)
  • Get the position and orientation of 26 different “joints” in up to 6 human bodies in both 3D space and on the screen
  • Get the open/closed state of the hands of up to 6 humans in front of the sensor
  • Get the lean angle of up to 6 humans in front of the sensor
  • Get the position and orientation of the faces of up to 6 humans in front of the sensor

System Requirements:
    • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10
      • Note: Small Basic 1.2 will still run on Windows Vista and Windows 7, but without the Kinect features
    • Hardware/SW Requirements: 
      • 64-bit (x64) processor
      • Dual-core 3.1-GHz or faster processor 
      • Dedicated USB 3.0 bus 
      • 2 GB RAM
      • DX11 capable graphics adapter
      • A Microsoft Kinect for Windows v2 sensor 3 (or the Xbox One Kinect Sensor and the Windows adapter).


2. EV3 Basic: Lego Mindstorms EV3 Extension - As a separate download, we're proud to partner with EV3 Basic to offer this extension built specifically for Small Basic 1.2. It includes 10 new objects and extends Small Basic to help teach actual text-based programming to Lego Mindstorms EV3 users! See Lego Mindstorms EV3 extension for Small Basic - EV3 Basic!!!. Download EV3 Basic on GitHub. Here are the full EV3 Basic release notes and documentation.



3. Dictionary Object: Expanded Languages - In Small Basic 1.0, the Dictionary Object supported the following languages (where you enter a word in the first language and the definition is displayed in the second language): EnglishToEnglish, EnglishToFrench, and FrenchToEnglish. In Small Basic 1.2, we expanded our support to translate from English to 7 languages (and to translate from those languages to English). You can try out the new features with the sample, ZRS542-0. For more information, see Small Basic - New Dictionary Object.

We expanded our support to these languages:

EnglishToGerman, GermanToEnglish
EnglishToItalian, ItalianToEnglish
EnglishToJapanese, JapaneseToEnglish
EnglishToKorean, KoreanToEnglish
EnglishToSimplifiedChinese, SimplifiedChineseToEnglish
EnglishToTraditionalChinese, TraditionalChineseToEnglish
EnglishToSpanish, SpanishToEnglish

Here is an English to French example:

Here is a Chinese to English example:


Bug Fixes

The following bugs have been fixed in Small Basic 1.2:

  1. Dictionary Object (1.0-12) - The Dictionary site changed their API, which broke the Dictionary Object for Small Basic 1.0 and 1.1. This has been fixed for Small Basic 1.2. You can confirm the bug has been fixed with this new sample (DJT869-0): 
  2. Language Improvements - We made thorough reviews and updated the UI text for these languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. We also had some logged errors that were fixed in this pass:
    1. Hebrew Errors (1.0-D03) - Hebrew translation errors in the IDE are fixed.
    2. French Errors (1.0-D05, D06, D07) - French translation errors in the IDE are fixed.
    3. Japanese Errors (1.0-D01, D12-D28) - Japanese translation errors in the IDE are fixed.
  3. GraphicsWindow.GetPixel Crash (1.0-14) - In Small Basic 1.0/1.1, the GraphicsWindow.GetPixel method crashed if the coordinates were outside the window (such as x < 0). This crash is eliminated in 1.2.
  4. Turtle.Show() Issue (1.0-02) - In Small Basic 1.0/1.1, the Turtle.Show() method didn't show the Turtle after you used GraphicsWindow.Clear() or Turtle.Hide(). This has been fixed for 1.2. In this new sample, we included the CS (clear screen) command in this Turtle Graphics program (XVK119-5):
  5. TextWindow.Show Crash (1.0-15) - In Small Basic 1.0/1.1, hiding and showing a TextWindow crashed Windows 8.1 and deleted content from Windows 7. This crash is eliminated in 1.2.
  6. Setup Needs .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (1.1-01) - In Small Basic 1.1, Small Basic Setup (SmallBasic.en_us.msi) requires you to have.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed. This is inconsistent because Small Basic v1.1 moves to the requirement of .NET Framework 4.5 instead. This has been fixed for 1.2.
  7. Shapes.AddText() Error (1.0-05) - In Small Basic 1.0/1.1, if you use the Shapes.AddText() method at the top of your program, Small Basic shows an exception thrown by the target. The exception is no longer thrown in 1.2.
  8. Math Object Crashes (1.0-03) - In Small Basic 1.0/1.1, various Math object errors caused unhandled exceptions. The crashes were fixed for 1.2.
  9. Divide by Zero Produces Zero (1.0-22) - In 1.0/1.1, if you divide by zero (0), you get the result of zero (0), even though in math this isn't possible (and should result in an error). In 1.2, you receive an error when you attempt to divide by zero.
  10. IDE Documentation Updates - We made several improvements to keep the documentation in the UI as accurate as possible:
    1. Math.Floor and Math.Ceiling (1.0-D04) - Clarified how these return the largest integer.
    2. Controls.Add*() Methods (1.0-D08) - Updated to mention how they require the position coordinates not the width/height.
    3. Network Object (1.0-D09) - Clarified that it is a helper class, not a private helper.
    4. Sound.PlayMusic (1.0-D10) - Updated MML to write out as Music Macro Language.


Breaking Changes

There are no new breaking changes introduced in Small Basic 1.2. However, there are two breaking changes starting from Small Basic 1.1 that break Small Basic 1.0:

  1. Windows XP - Due to the upgrade to .NET Framework 4.5, Small Basic 1.1/1.2 does not work on Windows XP and older operating systems. We will continue to offer Small Basic 1.0 for users of Windows XP and older operating systems.
  2. Extensions - All extensions built for Small Basic 1.0 and 1.1 will need to be recompiled on Small Basic 1.2 and re-released.


Updates made in v 1.1

  1. .NET Framework 4.5 - We upgraded to .NET Framework 4.5 from 3.5. Although this causes some breaking changes (see below), it's necessary in order to build out new objects that take advantage of new devices, operating systems, and capabilities.
  2. Modernized UX: Controls - The design of the program controls (button, scroll bar, arrows on the control bar) in the GraphicsWindow is now flat/modernized. This includes blue and dark gray borders around the text boxes. And the window title font is also updated. 
  3. Language Downloads - You can now directly download your language from the Download Center. See the Download Center Page.


Bug Fixes made in v 1.1

  1. Flickr Object (1.0-17) - Flickr changed their API, which broke the Flickr Object. This has been fixed for Small Basic 1.1 and higher.   
  2. Find + Arrow Keys Crash (1.0-21) - In 1.0, the Small Basic environment hangs up (shows "Not Responding") when pushing arrow keys while text finding when you have multiple edit windows open. This issue is fixed in 1.1 and can no longer be reproduced.

System Requirements

  • Supported Operating Systems: 

    Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Mini-Mac (Windows 8.1 / Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac / Mac OS X Yosemite), Lifebook (see installation instructions)

  • .Net Framework 4.5:    

    Required for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. It comes installed with Windows 8 and newer. Download .NET Framework 4.5.  

    Kinect for Small Basic

    Supported Operating Systems: Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10. Small Basic 1.2 

    will still run on Windows Vista and Windows 7, but without the Kinect features.
    1. 64-bit (x64) processor
    2. Dual-core 3.1-GHz or faster processor
    3. Dedicated USB 3.0 bus
    4. 2 GB RAM
    5. DX11 capable graphics adapter
    6. A Microsoft Kinect for Windows v2 sensor 3 (or the Xbox One Kinect Sensor and the Windows adapter).

Installation Instructions 

Download and install Small Basic 1.2:

  1. If you have Small Basic 1.0 installed, uninstall it. You'll need to delete all the files in the "smallbasic" folder.
    • NOTE: If you previously set your web browser to block the "C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft" folder, you'll need to remove that block.
  2. If your system does not have .NET Framework installed yet (Windows Vista and Windows 7), you'll need to download .NET Framework 4.5, and then install it.
  3. Download and Install Microsoft Small Basic in your preferred language. See the Small Basic 1.2 Download Center page.
  4. Launch by clicking the Microsoft Small Basic program shortcut.
Download and install EV3 Basic, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 extension for Small Basic:

  1. Download on GitHub
  2. More information: Lego Mindstorms EV3 extension for Small Basic - EV3 Basic!!!
  3. Full Release Notes and Documentation

Related Resources

See Also