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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

    9513 comments

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      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is inherent that VB6 will be operational with any Windows PC client or server OS. MS embrace your heritage! You created something relatively timeless. Embrace that! It is not an error. Embrace it by doing the minimal investment for your development community. Make it 64-bit and\or built into every Windows OS install.

        Thank you.

      • VB6 Programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Top 10 languages for Enterprise Application Development.

        Java ...............58%
        JavaScript .......57%
        C++ ................46%
        C# ...................26%
        Python ............25%
        PHP ................22%
        VB.NET............17%
        C .....................16%
        Visual Basic 6 ..16%
        VBA .................15%

      • VB6 Programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Retired Coder

        VB.Net is only 1 % point ahead of VB6 at 17%. Though, as you say, it is surprising that it scores so highly.

        C# has 26%. Interesting that VB6 and VBA together are more used than C#.

        The big 2, of course, are Java and JavaScript.

        Microsoft must be pleased to have 4 languages in the top 10 - C#, VB.Net, VB6 and VBA.

      • VB6 Programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @axisdj

        As everyone here knows, the VB6 programming language remains popular despite everything Microsoft have tried to do.

        Still a top 10 language for enterprises 20 years after the last version.

        Yet the blinkered Microsoft fanbois here still claim that VB6 isn't used and that Microsoft no longer support it. They much prefer the declining C# and VB.Net.

        As David Platt says (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/mt846730)
        "With these latest improvements to compatibility, I foresee at least another ten years of life for VB6. And I’ll bet you anything that this support gets renewed in Windows 11 and 12, or whatever they’re called by then. Another decade of driving the puritans crazy."

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joe Bolton

        VB6 had 6.1 million users.

        VB.Net has less than 200,000.

        C# has less than 2 million.

        Another great Microsoft success story.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joe Bolton

        Microsoft lost millions of developers by abandoning VB6. They gained nothing. They still have to support VB6, they still support VBA, they even support zombie VB.Net.
        And C# has declined by 50% in the last 6 years.

        You sound like a 'Microsoft can do no wrong' fanbois.

      • Joe Bolton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Jean

        > Many consider VB6 unsurpassed for Windows desktop development...

        Does that include all the companies that dumped it for Java? Or the ones that dumped it for .Net? If you add them together that's everybody.

        Seriously, if you want to see someone who doesn't have a clue about modern software development go look in the mirror.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even today, Microsoft are still supporting VB6.

        "Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10."

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/visualstudio/visual-basic-6/visual-basic-6-support-policy

        Microsoft should have updated the VB6 programming language, not attempted to replace it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ricardo

        >> VB6 had 6.1 million users.
        >> VB.Net has less than 200,000.
        >> That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.

        However you look at that, it must be down to Microsoft's incompetence.
        To lose almost 6 million customers is stupid.

      • Johnny OL commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ricardo

        >> VB6 had 6.1 million users.

        >> VB.Net has less than 200,000.

        >> That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.

        200,000 is slightly better than 3% of the 6.1 million VB6 users.
        Microsoft probably regard that as a success.

      • Johnny OL commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Jean

        >> Java users weren't interested in VB.Net. C# users weren't interested in VB.Net. VB6 users weren't interested in VB.Net.

        >> VB.Net never had a market. It was never wanted. But Microsoft can never admit their mistakes. That's why the zombie VB.Net language still exists today. But it has never had many users, and even they are declining in numbers.

        A corporate common-sense failure by Microsoft.

      • Johnny OL commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        >> There was never sufficient demand for VB.Net. VB6 developers never wanted it.
        Microsoft misjudged the market. Without persuading VB6 users to move there was no chance that VB.Net could be successful.

        >>Worse thing was Microsoft were never nimble enough to correct their mistake. They persisted with the unpopular VB.Net. They failed.

        Agreed, one of Microsoft's many poor decisions.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Richard Collier

        "As Dan Appleman said 'I think it’s pretty clear that anyone who has thousands of lines of code invested in VB6 is probably not going to invest in porting. It simply isn’t worth it - pure cost, and probably no improved performance.' "

        Exactly that. Daniel Appleman was right. It was never going to happen that the bulk of VB6 code would be rewritten in a new language, whether VB.Net or any other language.

        Without the ability to automatically update to a new version of their developer tool, applications remain in the language they were written in.

        The effect was that developers didn't (by and large) migrate applications to a new language (that old cost/benefit thing). So they were then in the position of having to continue with VB6 for existing applications and having to decide what to do for new applications.

        Many consider VB6 unsurpassed for Windows desktop development and instead of regressing to a less capable language chose instead to adopt other languages that widened (rather than narrowed) our skills - in my case languages for web and mobile development, while retaining VB6 for Windows.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joe Bolton

        "Given your demonstrated ignorance about modern software development..."

        It is you who is are stuck in the .Net ghetto.

        I have already listed the languages I use. Apart from VB6 they are all non-Microsoft languages.

        You are the one demonstrating your ignorance about modern software development by persisting with the declining C#.

      • M. Webb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft lost many of their VB6 developers. Once it became clear that Microsoft were not going to release an updated version of Visual Basic, many moved to other languages (or added other languages to their portfolio), many stayed with VB6, few moved to the disappointing VB.Net.

        As Richard Collier says "Microsoft never again dominated software development."

        You can only wonder what the story would have been had Microsoft offered C# (a fine language, despite its detractors) together with an updated VB6 language (instead of VB.Net).

        I suggest there would have been even more C# users than their are today (Microsoft wouldn't have gained its reputation for abandoning developers. Once you lose trust, it is hard to regain it).

        Even more importantly Microsoft would have retained the bulk of its VB6 developers who would have been able to move their legacy software forward to an updated VB6.

        The 3% would largely have gone to C#, the 97% would largely have gone to the updated VB6. Few would have been lost to non-Microsoft languages.

        It was yet another Microsoft marketing fail, losing millions of customers and losing trust.

      • M. Webb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Microsoft, update VB6 programming & VBA programming

        Good to see Microsoft have updated their VB6 support statement to include version 1709 of Windows 10.

      • Microsoft, update VB6 programming & VBA programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft's support statement for VB6 programming is available here...

        Support Statement for Visual Basic 6.0 on Windows
        - Note: The support policy below has been updated with Windows 10 version 1709 support information.

        The Visual Basic team is committed to "It Just Works" compatibility for Visual Basic 6.0 applications on the following supported Windows operating systems:

        Windows 10
        Windows 8.1
        Windows 7
        Windows Server 2016
        Windows Server 2012 including R2
        Windows Server 2008 including R2

        The Visual Basic team’s goal is that Visual Basic 6.0 applications continue to run on supported Windows versions.
        As detailed in this document, the core Visual Basic 6.0 runtime will be supported for the full lifetime of supported Windows versions, which is five years of mainstream support followed by five years of extended support.

        The VB6 runtime will ship and will be supported in Windows 10 for the lifetime of the OS (that is until at least 2025).
        The VB6 runtime will ship and will be supported in Windows Server 2016 for the lifetime of the OS (that is until at least 2027).

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/visualstudio/visual-basic-6/visual-basic-6-support-policy

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