Interesting that you mention Silverlight. I was impressed with Silverlight when I first saw it (at a Microsoft seminar a few years ago) and almost went down that route myself. It was just the experience of the VB6 abandonment that stopped me from doing so (rightly as it turned out).
I'd certainly support the enhancement of Visual Studio/.Net in the ways you suggest. There is no reason .Net developers should have to suffer in the same way Microsoft caused VB6 developers to.
I thought the "Xamarin dead end!" comment funny too. I don't really see what Microsoft's intentions are, but if .Net developers find it useful good luck to them. I can't see I would use it though.
There is nothing wrong with VB.Net. But it isn't for everyone. Many users of the classic VB6 programming language didn't migrate (for various reasons - lack of backwards compatibility, loss of trust in Microsoft, limited .Net functionality in it's early years, and others).
The lack of backwards compatibility meant you have to continue to support legacy apps (there was no business case for rewriting them, just to have a different language), so little reason to move to .Net.
And if you did move from VB6 what language would you choose knowing Microsoft had just abandoned you and would be likely to do so again ?
So there would be little reason now for VB6 users to move to VB.Net just to be able to use it to write iOS and Android apps using Xamarin, or to use your WebAssembly suggestion to write Web apps.
WebAssembly itself looks interesting, and if VB6 were made so that you could build applications to run in a browser using WebAssembly this would be very acceptable. I suggest it would be easier to do this for VB6 than .Net.
The February 2016 edition of the Microsoft MSDN magazine has an article by David Platt "Don't Get Me Started - VB6: Waking a Sleeping Giant"
VB* will use the VB6 ultra-simple syntax and organization. We’ll deliberately omit sophisticated functionality in return for easiest programming of simple cases.
Platt says that VB* could "do what Java promised and never delivered—writing code once, running absolutely everywhere. A true Universal app".
You can also modernize your VB6 application development by using other controls.
Krool's Controls (free and open source) replace many of the Microsoft VB6 controls. They use the latest API calls, functions, properties and visual styles and support unicode.
Updated controls are provided for text boxes, buttons, labels, combo boxes, treeviews, listviews, toolbars and many others.
Generally the controls are compatible with the Microsoft controls.
David S. Platt teaches programming .NET at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world. He’s the author of 11 programming books, including “Why Software Sucks” (Addison-Wesley Professional, 2006) and “Introducing Microsoft .NET” (Microsoft Press, 2002). Microsoft named him a Software Legend in 2002.
You can read his article here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/mt632280
and you can also say if you considered his page helpful there too.
In the MSDN article David Platt says a client told him:
"My app isn’t all that complicated, just a few video streams and some buttons. I wish there was some way to make that really easy.”
Platt goes on:
"Then it hit me: This is exactly what VB6 does with its current target of unmanaged Windows apps. How about we develop a version of VB6 that produces HTML5? The output would then run in any browser, on any OS, on any platform, desktop or mobile."
Please support this MSDN magazine call to develop a new version of the VB6 programming IDE.
Sue Gee says, in her censored post, ...
Microsoft has merged the request on User Voice with one of the earlier "open source VB" requests. This essentially censors the user's voice without to seeming to be censorship. You can't vote for a declined request, and all votes are returned without being counted or recorded. You can not longer see the original request but Microsoft can simply claim we merged it with a similar request.
The original text read:
Microsoft has been asked a number of times to open source VB6. This has been repeatedly rejected without any real reason being given.
However to remove a language from its community without an exceptional reason is an act of vandalism. The new Microsoft claims to back open source, why not in this case?
There is no need for Microsoft to do any more work on the code base - simply open source it and allow the community to keep it alive.
Even if you don't think that VB6 is a language you would ever want to use you should back this proposal simply to allow others the freedom to do so.
It is clear that Microsoft doesn't want to listen and still cannot be trusted with the future of a language.
We still have no reason for Microsoft's refusal to open source VB6.
Microsoft have censored the call by Sue Gee in this forum to celebrate the 25th birthday of Visual Basic by open sourcing it.
David Platt has an article in February's MSDN magazine.
A Silverlight client complained “I was doing fine with what I had. Now I have to go learn another language and migrate all my code. My app isn’t all that complicated, just a few video streams and some buttons. I wish there was some way to make that really easy.”
Platt suggests an updated version of the VB6 programming language:
The way Microsoft abandon developers isn't acceptable. We should all be asking them to , as a matter of policy, open source any development tools when they decide they are no longer required.
We all have our own abandoned Microsoft development tools. Isn't it time we all got together to put pressure on Microsoft ?
If Microsoft refuse to update VB6 I would like to see an open sourced Visual Basic 6 programming language...