There has been much discussion about the pending end of Mainstream support for Visual Basic 6.0. About 2 1/2 years ago Microsoft announced the support details for VB 6.0. On March 31st of this year Mainstream support ends.
There seems to be a bit of confusion in the world and some statements flying around that are not exactly true. Please allow me to take a few moments to clarify. I encourage you to read the details here. This is the end of Mainstream support NOT THE END OF SUPPORT. VB 6.0 will enter a 3 year period of Extended support.
So what does that all mean to the average developer? First off you can continue to get support for VB 6.0 both on the telephone and online. You can still get free self help online. You can continue to get critical updates.
Now the changes. Your support incidents will be a charge. Today you get 2 free phone or online incidents with the product anything beyond that costs you. After you use your 2 incidents today it cost you either $99 or $245 depending on the response time that you want.
If you have already used your incidents you are charged already today so not much will change for you in this area. If you have not used your incidents yet I would encourage you to use them before the end of the month. After the end of Mainstream support you will STILL BE ABLE TO GET SUPPORT on the phone and email. Some folks have been concerned that we are ending support for VB 6.0 on March 31. This is not the case.
Next change, critical updates (hot fixes) will be available for a fee. This is something that each person has to consider for themselves. The product has been out for 6 years and is on SP 6. If you have been using VB 6.0 for years as a developer and you have not run into a critical bug in the product that has not been fixed by one of the prior hotfixes what do you think the odds of over needing to pay for a future critical update? That is a question each developer has to weight.
Critical updates will still be available just not freely downloadable. I do not know that pricing, but if anyone is interested I will try and find out.
So on April 1st VB 6.0 will still be supported the biggest change is that some of the free support will go away now that we are six years after the product was released.
VB will continue to be supported for another 3 years under Extended support.
The rumors of the death of support area greatly exaggerated