There have been a lot of questions raised about the “end” of support for Visual Basic 6.0 recently that are worthwhile addressing. Let’s just get the biggest question out of the way: Support is not ending. Let me say that again: Support is not ending.
So what happens on April 1st of this year? The change in support that we announced back in 2002 is that we transition from a warranty support model to a paid support model.
The thing that is really affected by this is the 2 warranty incidents that came with the Visual Basic 6.0 box. If you’re an MSDN subscriber, you have the 2 or 4 support incidents that you received along with your subscription. Those will still work during the extended support cycle. If you need to purchase support you can buy a single-instance support question for $245 or a package of 5 incidents for $1225. You can also buy a web-only incident for $99.
Microsoft will continue to provide security fixes free of charge to the VB6 runtime through the extended support lifecycle. The VB6 runtime shipped as a part of Windows XP and so will continue to be supported throughout Windows XP’s support timeframe. The real question being raised is around free warranty support for developing applications with Visual Basic 6. You will continue to have access to all security fixes and self-help online support options (including knowledge base articles, online product information etc.).
The VB6 lifecycle page at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/support/vb6.asp contains some more information.
Rob Copeland, the Product Unit Manager of the VB team, wrote about this in his first blog post.