C is a high-level programming language developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs in the mid 1970s. Although originally designed as a systems programming language, C has proved to be a powerful and flexible language that can be used for a variety of applications, from business programs to engineering. C is a particularly popular language for personal computer programmers because it is relatively small -- it requires less memory than other languages.
C has been used successfully for every type of programming problem imaginable from operating systems to spreadsheets to expert systems - and efficient compilers are available for machines ranging in power from the Apple Macintosh to the Cray supercomputers. The largest measure of C's success seems to be based on purely practical considerations:
C is often called a "Middle Level" programming language. This is not a reflection on its lack of programming power but more a reflection on its capability to access the system's low level functions. Most high-level languages (e.g. Fortran) provides everything the programmer might want to do already built into the language. A low level language (e.g. assembler) provides nothing other than access to the machines basic instruction set. A middle level language, such as C, probably doesn't supply all the constructs found in high-languages - but it provides you with all the building blocks that you will need to produce the results you want!