Microsoft has abandoned six million developers with its decision to end mainstream support for Visual Basic 6, Karl E. Peterson writes in the current Visual Studio:
There are millions of existing VB6 and VBA applications; this alone constitutes a compelling reason to ensure support for these applications on existing platforms. Otherwise, the authors of these applications have no means to use new platform features and no reason to encourage their customers to adopt the new Microsoft platforms.
This is a really an amazing situation. VB was one of the things that really allowed Windows to succeed; one of the few "breakthroughs" in programming technique which really was a breakthrough. Yeah, you couldn't do "everything" in VB, but what you could do is build many applications quickly and simply and without debugging the low-level interactions. Stuff just worked.
With VB.NET, MS tried to make it so VB could do everything (even though we already had C++ and C# for that), and so we lost some of the quickness and a lot of the simplicity. What was gained wasn't worth gaining, and what was lost was really significant.
Worst of all, VB.NET isn't even backward compatible with VB 6! How dumb is that? So all those thousands of apps out there, all those millions of lines of code, actually have to be updated or rewritten to remain compatible. All that work to get capabilities which didn't belong in VB anyway. You can see why people aren't happy.
And now - as a topper - MS is discontinuing support for VB, despite the tremendous pushback they've received. This is like actively shoving their customers away. Unbelievable.
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