Visual Basic 6.0 support died 31 March 2005. Rightly so. Everyone is up in arms. http://classicvb.org/
There is far too much badly architected, badly developed and security-less VB v1.0-6.0 code out there. And it is a risk to every business that is using it.
Now how can a developer not want to move forward, improve on what he/she has written, and at the same time, keep up with the technology boom that put them where they are?
If a VB 6.0 developer can not handle the migration to VB.NET (or better c#), maybe the developer needs a LOT of re-training, or be re-evaluated if he/she is actually good enough for the position held. Developers generally earn a lot of money, but in most cases, they are not worth it.
Yes, a re-write will expose the security holes and the coding monstrosity that was created over the years, but maybe it is good for the IT industry. A good clean out will help drive down costs (those developers who are not productive and competent will be pushed out the industry) and at the same time, sort out all the security flaws that are lying around.
In my opinion, it is time to do a clean sweep. Developers who can not be multi-faceted, not willing to learn the newer languages like c# and Java have no place in this industry. A corporation needs someone who can work on code that runs on the Unix/Linux platforms, and at the same time, pretty and secure UI Windows desktop code (no, I don’t believe that Java is the answer to everything, actually, far from that).
Microsoft kept everyone warm and cozy too long. The brutal reality is here. Java is mainstream, c# is getting there, VB has been left behind in the corporate environment. The large corporates have had too much trouble with mediocre VB applications that just don’t work in a properly “locked-down” desktop environment.
What about the small company who runs on VB? Well, that same company is still running, now, unsupported Windows 95 and Windows 98. They still will in 2 years time (until the hardware dies and nothing new will run the old Windows). They are not spending 3-5% of turnover on IT. For them, they can wait out this round of development upgrades, and then in 2 years time, get something that works better, and is secure, and will run on Windows Vista/Longhorn.
Maybe Microsoft should not have made VB.NET, as it was trying to be too backward compatible to be really helpful to the average developer. It probably hurt the developer by extending their IT career when they should have left it a long time ago.
VB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0, I started out my career with you, I used your heavily over the years, but I outgrew you. So did Microsoft.
Long live c# and SQL Server!