Ah.... VB 6. It's been one of my favorite languages. Over the years, I've created all kinds of programs with it; games, business applications, hardware control systems, etc. Although I was among the first to admit its faults, I was also one of the first to proclaim its strengths and to defend its value. Even after moving to .NET, I've always kept VB 6 close at hand. Sometimes I did this because of necessity, such as when working for companies running multiple large VB6 applications. At other times, I did it because it was a familiar and trusted tool. Mostly, though, I think I kept it around because it had always been there, and it just felt right.
Looking back, I can't help but notice that I've been using it less and less. In fact, I haven't written any new VB 6 programs in 3 or 4 years. Instead, I've been been using C# and VB.NET. However, many developers HAVE continued to use VB 6, as have many companies. It is for those developers and companies that I write this post.
Support for the Visual Basic 6 IDE will cease in April 2008.
After this date, Microsoft will no longer support issues dealing with the IDE or with Visual Basic source code. Runtime issues will still be supported, as the VB 6 runtime is supported along with the operating system with which it shipped. However, for most practical purposes, April marks the beginning of the end for VB 6. Developers should seriously consider migrating their applications to another supported environment, probably .NET.
Obviously, this cannot be done overnight, so you should start making your plans now.