A long time ago Microsoft said that it is orphaning Visual Basic 6.0 on March 31st, 2005. That is in 2 weeks. So basically you will no longer be able to buy it or get free technical support (as well as any bug fixes to the product.) In essence, the warranty is expired. Microsoft will continue to support VB 6 on a fee basis until March 31st, 2008.
This is ok since VB 6 RTMed in the summer of 1998 and has been superseded by its two predecessors: Visual Basic .NET 2002 and Visual Basic .NET 2003. It has been almost 7 years and two upgrades, so this should not be an issue, right?
Well, over 100 Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) have signed an online petition that demands Microsoft resume development and support VB6. The MVPs are calling for all VB developers and IT leaders to review and consider signing the petition.
Can 100 MVPs Be Wrong?
All good things come to an end. VB 6 is old technology and it is time to move on to the more powerful and flexible VB .NET or a more modern language like C# or Java. We always knew this day would come. Nobody uses WordStar for DOS anymore-for a reason.
I build tons of apps with VB6 back in the day. They will continue to run until the end of time, upgraded or not-MS has not dropped support for the VB6 runtime, which is actually part of Windows.
I do understand that some companies and government organizations are slow to upgrade and that upgrading can be expensive at times. But that said, the writing has been on the wall since the PDC in 2001. Microsoft made the orphan announcement almost a year ago.
VB6 developers say things like “VB .NET is too hard” or “it is difficult to upgrade.” Nonsense. I am by no means a genius and I was able to learn .NET when it shipped and was able to upgrade all of my stuff. In addition, I found that .NET was *easier* to work with and implement (epically ASP .NET)!!! My staff of 10 developers at Zagat.com was able to make the switch pretty fast.
I am still a VB MVP. I have, however, completely made the switch to C#. December 2002 was when I defected. That said, I still have a soft spot for VB and hope to see everyone migrate as soon as possible. You have four years, so get cracking. Maybe by March 31, 2008, VB .NET 2002 will be unsupported. J