Thursday, March 10, 2005


This week Microsoft announced termination of mainstream support for VB6 at the end of this month, with extended support ending in March 2008. A petition by MVPs has been lodged seeking reversal of this decision, and has also raised the issue of support for VBA.

The current product support life cycle for VBA is:

. Mainstream support ends 31-Dec-08
. Extended support ends 31-Dec-13

so there is some life left in VBA yet.

Also, Bill Gates is on record that VBA will be supported in Office 12 due out in mid-2006, but not after version 12. This should mean that the support life cycle for VBA will move well beyond these dates once Office 12 is released.

This provides some comfort for Office developers like me and, more importantly, users that are still using VBA and avoiding the unwelcome complexities of using the .NET framework.

I consider Microsoft will need to eventually backtrack and continue to support VBA for many years to come for these reasons:

  1. The retail versions of Office in use for at least the next decade will directly support only VBA.
  2. Office as well as a development environment is equally an end-user product, and I don't hear anyone talking about VB.NET macros...
  3. The current .NET framework push ignores small business users, who don't want or need the complexities that come with VB.NET.

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