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VB6 Support at Microsoft

Believe it or not, it still exists!

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VB 6 Forever !

VB 6 Forever !

Dan Mabbutt
Updated July 04, 2010

Praise Be! Microsoft does hear us! ... Maybe.

I wrote those words back in 2005. At that time, Microsoft was feeling the pressure from the dying screams of VB6 systems that ... won't die. In this age of Windows Azure, WPF, and Agile Programming, who thinks about VB6 anymore? People who still depend on it, that's who.

Back in 2005, there was a significant revolt against Microsoft for throwing ... ummmm ... probably billions of dollars of investment in VB6 under the bus. Here's a snapshot from history: VB 6 Programmers Are Revolting!. The protests against the gradual erosion of support for VB 6 at Microsoft might have been a small part of the explanation behind Microsoft's decision to create a whole new Visual Basic 6 support site at that time. The new site was called VBRun and the subtitle is "The Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center". It sounded pretty straight! Support from the source! What could be better?

Well ... for starters, it would have been better if Microsoft had changed their marketing policy and made it possible for people to actually buy VB6 again. IF you can find VB6 at all, it's at third tier retail or auction sites and it will cost you many times the price of a copy of VB.NET.

Understanding comes from that great advice, "If you want the truth, follow the money." The truth is that Microsoft worked hard to make it hard for you to continue to use VB6 from the moment .NET was introduced. But they did understand that a lot of VB6 developers - the largest base of software developers in the world back then - were melting away and a lot of them were not choosing .NET. This created an understanding at Microsoft that something had to be done to appeal to these formerly loyal VB6 customers. So they created a site that they called, "VBRun" in 2005. The site still exists.

While doing some housekeeping on my own site, I found the review of the site that I wrote back then and decided to check out what had happened since then. It's actually worthwhile. Here's what I found.

Back in 2005, everything on VBRun was just a transparent hard sell for VB.NET. There was nothing new for VB6 support. But that has changed just a little bit now. The next page tells you what it is now.

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