.Net is to VB6 what Win 10 is to Win 7 users: an ugly duck!
As a business principle, a company ought to bring consumers the product they want. In many business schools, that would be the number one rule for success.
MS is doing some of that : in VS, you got your C#, C++, VB, use whatever you prefer. But the Classic VB way of doing things is gone. Of course, VS has a few tricks easier to do than VB6, but that is only because MS has been putting their money on the framework only for now ohhh so many years. And they are pretty much s*** deep into it to recognize that a vast number of people just don't like those managed languages. It's not a secret that internally, the OS people loathe managed code, and that there is nothing wrong with COM (windows is mostly COM, framework more like a layer on top) if it benefits from continued development. The Windows kernel (low level api, gdi, MCI, COM) MS will never be able to get rid of and may very well outlast framework and managed code. If that's the case, come Win 11, 2018, 2024 and well after that, VB6 could still be a desired option for which it will not be wise to end support. Industry likes long lasting standards... CNC machining is still being done with HPGL or G-Code engineered in the seventies, just like a car still has four wheels, and for a simple good reason : IT WORKS!
Who can tell where and what VB6..7.. could do nowadays if development had been put on it at the same rate as the hit-and-run (and flee the scene) products MS has been serving for years (obsolete framworks that will still need be supported, Win RT, Silverlight, etc.)
It was once Bill Gates's own vision that one day, Windows apps would be as easy to write as a basic program was back then. And that path was followed for a while (VB6). But then the world crumbled and what was to follow only succeeded in putting programming out of reach of the masses. I don't doubt that some programmers at system level want and need something real powerful (OOP and it's paradigms) etc.. but for one techie that wants to wet his dreams with OOP and polymorphism, there are hundreds who simply need to fire an IDE and write a custom spreasheet for their office, or a bill calculation, or... the list is endless.
To all these people, MS is saying : NO. You want the Windows programming experience? Be ready to feel the pain. Look at simplest way to write a Metro APP. Borderline ridiculous : lots of very advanced computer topics you have master before even doing the simplest thing.
In my view, there is no reason WHATSOEVER for which you could not write the "Hello World" app for any platform anymore complicated than a simple : print "Hello World"
VB6 can do that with the less amount of effort in Windows history. A true RAD. Wake up MS, this is what we expect from you : write a compiler where YOU take care of the nitty-gritty, and leave us, common mortals, more time to achieve productivity and write products instead of being swamped by the complexities of the programming system.
With it's constant change of directions, MS, the very company that writes the OS is trailing the pack as far as writing portable applications is concerned. IE is the worse of the browsers. It's laughable really. Better watch out if someday, Google or Java decides to venture into the OS business.
OK, so MS fanboys can revel in their C++, C# or .NET, why not a parallel product? I am just saying here, out of my head ... let's call it : VB7-64 bits. My bet is that it would outsell in a flash any of the VS products.
Actually, I don't only see it as an alternative, but rather as a Golden Opportunity to get back to bases, and re-engineer the product almost from scratch, keeping of course its governing principles and easy syntax while aiming at the same time at platform portability. Truth is VS has become a much too big animal, and admit it MS, you barely have the resources and qualified staff to continue mantaining and growing this thing much longer and keep up tying up the loose ends.
Oblivion is menacing a company that does not fullfill the real needs and desires of it's user base, much less acknowlodging them. Win 8 was lesson... a while back NASA was served a lesson too, comittees concluded a CHANGE OF CULTURE was the biggest element to bring about solutions for their problems. I find the term wholly appropriate to the situation at MS.