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Eugene shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We have read all of the comments on this thread and I’d like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback on this issue. Instead of merely repeating our support and migration guidance that has been laid out on http://msdn.com/vbrun, I’d like to address some of your specific comments here.

To play back the feedback themes we’re hearing:
- VB6 is awesome
- VB6 needs to be brought forward and maintained: in a new release or OSS

VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. One way I see our mission in developer tools is to empower developers to solve problems. This includes both today’s problems AND the problems of tomorrow. VB6, as you all have stated repeatedly in this thread, is an excellent tool for solving the problems of its day. We also stand behind our decision starting in 2002 to meet the current demands of our developers and the industry with .NET. For the scenarios VB6 set out to do, we see VB6 being “complete”. We feel good about VB6 being able to continue maintaining their applications for the past 15 years. Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible.

To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. We have to remember that VB6 is not just a language. VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together. We’ve worked with many customers on migration from VB6 to .NET and found that while yes, there are language changes, the dominating factor in migration difficulties isn’t the language differences. Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled.

So, moving forward what can we do? Where we have been able to help move forward is in our stance around support and interoperability. The VB6 runtime it is still a component of the Windows operating system and is a component shipped in Windows 8.1. It will be supported at least through 2024. This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. The support policy is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ms788708. There are numerous interop strategies that we developed and evolved to enable incremental migration as you upgrade your skills, described here: http://msdn.com/vbrun.

In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so. We have to innovate to enable our customers to innovate. It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework. We think they are awesome too. It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. The VB6 runtime was last shipped in Windows 8.1 and will be supported for the lifetime of Windows 8.1. Support and interop are great tools to move forward incrementally.

I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things well enough that you understand our decision.

Paul Yuknewicz
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools

9540 comments

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  • Paul Lefebvre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Sten2005: You are correct, Xojo is not VB-compatible. It is similar, perhaps more similar than VB.NET. It's also much simpler to learn than VB.NET, so it's probably easier for most VB developers to switch to. Of course, you can also create OS X and Linux (and web) apps as well. I'm not aware of anything that is 100% compatible with VB except VB.

  • Sten2005 - Microsoft support VB6 programming on Windows 10 until at least 2025 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Don't forget that nothing has actually changed.
    Last week the VB6 programming language was being supported by Microsoft until at least 2024. This week, VB6 is being supported by Microsoft until at least 2024.

    The only thing that has changed is Paul Yuknewicz's CV:-

    2002 Cancelled VB6 (failed)
    2014 Cancelled VB6 (failed)

    and of course a note in his diary:-
    2024 - remember to cancel VB6 again.

  • Sten2005 - Microsoft support VB6 programming on Windows 10 until at least 2025 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Paul Lefebvre
    I'd certainly recommend looking at Xojo (formerly Real Basic).
    But my understanding is that it is not VB6 compatible. It is another of many Basic languages that puts language 'improvements' ahead of compatibility. As such, it is probably no easier to migrate to than VB.Net.
    Paul, if I am misunderstanding please post a correction here.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Circa 2004. was the one and only time I rang MS for support
    I spoke to a very pleasant lady who assured me that she could help me but first needed some information. Thereafter followed a lengthy questionnaire about me and my company and the MS products we used.
    Once this eventually concluded she simply advised that I contact any Microsoft reseller in my country and that they would be able to help me with my problem.
    I can't remember but she probably finished up with a "is there anything else we can help you with today"?

    Microsoft has in recent years become OSS friendly.
    They now get praise on sites frequented by the younger developers with a leaning for OSS (e.g. Hacker news) for open sourcing stuff and making contributions to OS projects.
    It's a googlesque "don't be evil" incarnation of Microsoft, a Microsoft 2.0.

    Us old dinosaurs on vb6 though, we get 'classic' Microsoft

  • GypsyPrince commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    1.) Bill Gates did not retire from Microsoft. He was basically pushed out, but very quietly. It's amazing we live in a culture where companies hire these MBA executives who have no clue about actually running a business for longevity. They're only interested in the quarterly bottom line, so they convince investors and board members to run a man out of the very company which he founded.

    2.) Although they could very easily do so, the new and unimproved Microsoft has absolutely NO intention of ever open sourcing Visual Basic 6, just so because of the very fact that it is that good. Microsoft is going to attempt to drive the business desktop model into a direction more in line with Metro. But, it will be almost impossible to convince the corporate world to upgrade to newer version of Windows if VB6 is made open source and cross-platform, thereby giving business owners instead, good reason to switch to Linux for which Visual Basic 6 could easily be adapted to produce RAD business programs. For all Microsoft's evading the question as to why they refuse to open source VB6, simply put, the answer is a strategic one. Microsoft does not want to compete with one of its own former products, because if it were adapted to Linux, it is an almost certainty that Microsoft would lose that competition.

  • paul g commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't use VB6 classic anymore, and I've moved on from VBS because Microsoft has developed richly functional alternatives, VB.NET and PS. But I still support and write a lot of code with VBA because while promising for years to deprecate VBA and develop some other scripting/macro language for MS Office, Microsoft has yet do so. That is another reason why VB simply won't die.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    VB is not a Tool for Azure, So what has the "the Principal Group Program Manager for Azure Tools" to do with VB?

  • yereverluvinunclebert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    With regard to that ReactOS link below, make your voices heard. ReactOS could be the stable supported platform of choice for VB6 developers for years to come. They need to know that you exist and that you are a community that is worth supporting.

  • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Shockingly we received your response yesterday about the decision on VB6.

    In retrospect, I should not have expected anything different. The technical reasons you gave seem not to be 100% accurate as there is already a 64bit VBA and VB6 is just a layer over c++. But I understand the politics over all this, it makes sense from your perspective.

    What I don’t understand is why it is not feasible to OPEN SOURCE VB6? If the product is outdated, what would it hurt MS to open source it. There are many people I know what would take the project and run with it. All this would take no resources from you. As far as I understand vb.net is open source, why then would you not allow vb6 to be the same.

    I urge you to re-consider open sourcing vb6, maybe just start with a dialog about why/why not. Not feasible is just to vague.

  • Angry VB6 Developer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so." Nonsense. The only reason I need to rewrite my 300,000 lines of VB6 is because MS has pulled the rug out from under it.

  • treddie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    MS STILLLL does not get it. I guess you have to have higher intelligence than them TOOOO get it.

    So, someone else will eventually do it (a VB6 type language) that will pull the rug out from under MS and cause them to lose significant market share.

  • Srikant commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Despite all these yrs and these petition, i think VB community doesnt have a clear vision of the future. If we can get 1000 people to donate 5$ or more each then surly we can do something about it, may be a legal notice to microsoft will move things. Simply complaining will not do a thing, they will just ignore.

  • Srikant commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    this 'Paul Yuknewicz' is responsible for this mess. We should rather contact someone senior to tell them whats going on. may be "S. Somasegar" who is corporate vp of the Developer Division will take a look at this.

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