A number of early microcomputer BASICs had 'array like strings' that were unlike MS's system and instead behaved like arrays of char. Substrings were accessed using a syntax like:
A$ = B$(1,5)
as opposed to the MS style:
A$ = LEFT$(B$,4)
Note the potential off-by-one.
I know that some minicomputer BASICs also worked this way, I believe HP and Nova were the canonical examples. North Star BASIC also used this style, and I suspect, due to its origins, that Cromenco Extended BASIC did as well.
So the question: does anyone know the first microcomputer BASIC that used this style of string notation? And wider, where this style originated?
LEFT$seems to have appeared on micros early on; 8K Altair BASIC had it in 1975.