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The Ghost of VB6

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Heck, if a movie that's in Aramaic can top the box-office charts, there must be hope for dead languages everywhere.

And for one in particular, which still has millions of adherents. Released in 1996, Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 cemented the product as the first choice of buggy front-ends to databases everywhere. In fact, if you wanted a buggy front-end to your corporate database, there was no better choice.

VB6 won plenty of scorn for its eccentricities, which Microsoft attempted to rectify in the dot.nettified VB.net 7. Unfortunately, this broke backward compatibility. No matter how Redmond chivvied and chided, a large part of the VB6 installed base wouldn't let go.

The VB6 fans petitioned without joy, and in March this year Microsoft finally cast these users adrift, and ended support for the tool.

Microsoft's AntiSpyware uses VB6However, sharp-eyed reader Carey Bishop spotted this while investigating Microsoft's Anti-Spyware product using Dependency Walker.

(Which isn't an open position at the Betty Ford clinic, apparently, but a debugging tool).

Yes, it's the beloved VB6 run time. Which means that Microsoft too is now one of the last VB6 hold-outs, and certainly the largest .NET refusenik in the world.

Microsoft acquired Giant, the company that produced the Spyware detection program, in December 2004, and lost no time in making it available to users the following month.

"This whole issue begs the question," writes Carey, "why is Microsoft using an unsupported development environment against their own guidelines? Just another case of' 'Do what I say, not what I do'...

Having shelled out for a state-of-the-art Spyware program, VB6 fans are hoping that the customer is always right. Right? ®

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