Microsoft’s Visual Basic programing language will be gradually assimilated entirely within the .NET framework. The decades-old language will continue to be supported but it won’t be updated or improved, and neither will it evolve further. Instead, Microsoft Visual Basic will be only “maintained” to ensure stability and migration to the .Net 5.0.
Visual Basic, one of the first comprehensive programing languages to be widely adopted for developing applications and platforms, will be gradually relegated as a subset of the much larger and rapidly evolving .NET Core. In other words, Microsoft has clearly indicated that the road ahead for Visual Basic is ending soon and that too within the Visual Basic platform on .Net 5. The number of developers still loyal to Visual Basic is certainly low and diminishing. Hence, Microsoft has ensured that their creations will continue to remain functional, and the company will lend support to ensure system and platform stability. The company has assured support but it will be limited to ensure developers rapidly move their applications to the .NET Core.
Microsoft .NET Confirms Company Has No Plans To Evolve Visual Basic As A Language:
“Going forward, we do not plan to evolve Visual Basic as a language,” confirmed the Microsoft .NET Core team. “We are supporting these application types to provide a good path forward for the existing VB customers who want to migrate their applications to .NET Core. This allows Visual Basic customers to take advantage of new platform features like side-by-side deployment, cross-platform support, performance, and new API improvements. The significant number of programmers using Visual Basic demonstrates that its stability and descriptive style is valued”
— MSPoweruser (@mspoweruser) March 12, 2020
This essentially means the .NET 5 development team will certainly ensure support for Visual Basic, however, the primary intention behind the support is to ensure language stability and compatibility between Visual Basic for .NET Core and Visual Basic for .NET Framework. Since 2017, Microsoft has basically abandoned Visual Basic, as there has been no actual development, feature additions or any progress. The recent announcement merely confirms the company’s true intentions.
Moving ahead, developers who work primarily on Visual Basic will be able to bring forth their platforms and ensure they are working well on to .NET Core, and subsequently to the .NET 5.0. It is important to note that .NET 5.0 will be replacing the traditional .NET and the open-source and cross-platform .NET Core in the second half of 2020.
— Winaero (@winaero) March 13, 2020
Microsoft Is Not Killing Visual Basic But Merely Urging Developers To Adopt A More Comprehensive .NET 5.0 Platform?
The current generation of the .NET Framework ships with the Windows OS. Hence it will certainly remain supported and completely functional. However, platforms like WebForms, Workflow or WCF, aren’t supported on .NET Core. Hence developers will anyhow have to remain with the .NET Framework.
— Thurrott Feed (@Thurrottfeed) March 12, 2020
Interestingly, Microsoft has claimed that Visual Studio regularly adds new features for developers using Visual Basic and either .NET Core or .NET Framework, such as IntelliCode for Visual Basic. Reiterating the commitment towards Visual Basic and Visual Studio, the .NET team confirmed, “Visual Basic is a great language and a productive development environment. The future of Visual Basic will include both .NET Framework and .NET Core and will focus on stability, the application types listed above, and compatibility between the .NET Core and .NET Framework versions of Visual Basic.”