According to a report by Mary Jo Foley at Microsoft Watch, Microsoft has launched its VBRun Web site in hopes of that it can calm down outraged "VB Classic" users by helping them to transition to VB.NET. On the site's front door is a message from Microsoft's Visual Basic Product Manager Jay Roxe that, amongst other things, says (in the spirit of migration) "VB Fusion provides some specific examples of using VB 6 and VB .NET together. Stay the Path provides information and free training for VB 6 developers who are looking to explore Visual Basic .NET." Microsoft "EOLed" (end-of-lifed) free support for older versions of Visual Basic. The move sparked a petition by Microsoft loyalists to reconsider the move but Microsoft has remained steadfast in its decision. That petition now has almost 5,000 signatures according to Foley.
Meanwhile, Real Software, a company that focuses on the needs of Visual Basic developers with solutions that do neat things like allow VB apps to run on Linux, is trying to provide a safety net that doesn't require migration to VB.NET. According to Real's Web site, users of Visual Basic can upgrade to Real's REALbasic 5.5 for Windows Standard Edition at no charge. According to an e-mail I received from Real's director of marketing Gwen Palmer, over 10,000 Visual Basic users have signed up.
Not one to let the golden opportunity to steal customers slip by, Sun is also trying to get a message out to VB classic developers. In his blog entitled End of an era, Sun distinguished engineer Bob Brewin says:
"The obvious question is whether this is the right time to contemplate moving to a platform that provides unparalleled security, portability and power: the Java platform. Something else to consider as a considerable value is whether you, the developer, want to (just perhaps) not put yourself in the same situation again, where a vendor who owns a given platform and language can decide to change the foundation your house is built on."