My First Post – and more on VB6 support (by Rob Copeland)


Wouldn’t you know it. I finally decide to create a blog and work on my first post and then technology gets in the way. We have some issues here creating new blogs on msdn, so I’ve decided to post here instead. When I get up and running, I’ll post this entry there and use that for any future posts. My first entry is below.


I’ve finally decided to enter the blogosphere. I’ve been a long-time reader and have wanted to start a blog for a while. The reason I’ve waited is that I wanted to make sure I wasn’t one of those “one blog wonders.” You know, the person that writes one blog entry and then you never hear from them again. Well, after thinking about ways to mitigate that, I’ve decided that I have no way to guarantee that I won’t be one of those, but I promise to try not to be.


A little about me:

I have been at Microsoft for about 12 years. My current job is Product Unit Manager of the RAD team at Microsoft. RAD stands for “rapid application development.” The RAD team consists of the Visual Basic team, the .NET Client team, which creates Windows Forms and the controls in the .NET Framework, and the VS Data team, which creates the database tools inside Visual Studio as well as Visual FoxPro.


I came to Microsoft from Fox Software when Microsoft acquired that company. I have worked in Microsoft’s IT department as a developer and a program manager, I worked on the FoxPro team creating FoxPro 2.6 and Visual FoxPro 3.0 (I worked on the xbase language and the controls). Since then I have been involved in Visual Basic in one way or another since before VB4. Finally, I’ve been running the RAD team for about 2 years.


The real story behind VB6 support

Since there’s been so much activity recently about the support of Visual Basic 6, I thought I’d have my first blog entry address that issue. I understand that there is a lot of concern out there and I want to make sure that the facts are clear for everyone. Here they are (at a very high level):


1. Support for Visual Basic 6 is not ending

2. The main change on 3/31 is that “mainline support” will end. This means:

            a. the free support incidents included with your Visual Basic 6 purchase will expire, except:

            b. if you’re an MSDN subscriber or have a Premier or Alliance support contract. In these cases, the included free incidents do not expire and are valid through the extended support period (see below).


The Visual Basic 6 product is entering what is called “extended support” which will last until 3/31/08. During this time, all the same support options are available (online, phone, etc.), but the free incidents will no longer be part of our offerings. Note that if you’ve already used the free incidents, then there is no change for you, as you’ve already been paying.


Here is the link to the page outlining the support options:


The only change to this page on 3/31/05 will be that the two points that state “no charge” will be removed. Everything else will remain.


One final thing I want to note concerns the VB6 runtime. The VB6 runtime ships with Windows XP. This means that the VB6 runtime is covered by the Windows XP support timeline. This means that support for the VB6 runtime will last much longer than that of the development environment. Mainstream support for Windows XP will end 2 years after Longhorn launches and extended support will last for 5 years after that. (check out


Yes, it’s a little confusing (it took me a while to round up all the relevant facts). Hopefully this helps.


What else?

I don’t know what I’ll blog about next. I guess whatever hits me on the day I sit down and decide to write blog #2. I care a lot about making programming and the overall development experience simpler. I’m sure you’ll see some of that come out. I love working with my team. I’ll be talking about that. I love gadgets (who doesn’t J). I’ll try not to bore you with too much of that (have you seen the Zen Micro – awesome!).


My goal with this blog is to write about what’s on my mind, what I care about, what’s happening at Microsoft, or even random stuff that I think is cool (or not). In my mind, that’s the whole point.  Hopefully you’ll get something out of these.


By the way, what would *you* like to see in my blog entries?







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