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So Long, VBScript: What Microsoft's Retirement Means for Your Legacy Systems

by Cheyenne Sokkappa, on Jun 3, 2024 2:25:07 PM

If you've been working with Microsoft technologies for a while, you've probably crossed paths with VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition). This trusty (or crusty, amirite?) scripting language has been a workhorse for automating tasks, adding interactive elements to web pages, and generally making life easier for Windows users since 1996.


But as with all good things, VBScript's time in the spotlight is coming to an end. Microsoft has announced that they're phasing out this old friend in favor of newer, more modern tools like JavaScript and PowerShell. If you have legacy code that relies on VBScript, I'm here to walk you through what this means for you and what your next steps should be.

Why the Change?

The tech world moves fast, and scripting languages are no exception. JavaScript and PowerShell are more powerful and versatile than VBScript, offering greater capabilities for modern web development and automation. While VBScript was great in its day, it's time for a well-deserved retirement.

What's the Timeline?

Microsoft is taking a gradual approach to this change, with a three-phase plan:

  • Phase 1 (Starting late 2024): VBScript will still be pre-installed in Windows 11, but as a "feature on demand." This means it won't be enabled by default, but you can easily turn it on if you need it.
  • Phase 2 (Around 2027): VBScript will no longer be enabled by default at all. You'll have to manually turn it on if your systems still rely on it.
  • Phase 3 (Date TBD): VBScript will be completely removed from future Windows versions. At this point, any code relying on it will stop working.

What Should You Do Now?

If you're not using VBScript, you can sit back and relax – this change won't affect you. But if you have legacy code that depends on VBScript, it's time to start planning your transition:

  1. Inventory: Take stock of all your systems, applications, and scripts that use VBScript. This will help you understand the scope of the work ahead.
  2. Evaluate: Look at each instance of VBScript and decide if it's critical to your operations. Some scripts might be easy to replace, while others might require more significant changes.
  3. Prioritize: Focus on the most important or high-risk scripts first. This will help you mitigate any potential disruptions when VBScript is eventually removed.
  4. Migrate: Start transitioning your VBScript code to JavaScript or PowerShell. There are resources available to help you with this, including guides and conversion tools. Don't hesitate to seek help from our super smart engineers here at GAP.

It's Not the End of the World

While this transition might seem daunting, remember that Microsoft is giving you plenty of time to prepare. By starting now, you can ensure a smooth transition and avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. And who knows, you might even discover that the new scripting languages offer even better solutions for your needs!

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. Remember that we have a bunch of folks here at GAP who have vast experience in moving old code to new.

Talk to an Engineer



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