In the not to distant future, VB developers will have a brand new tool on their hands. If Microsoft rolls out VB7.0 according to schedule, we should see a new release in the latter half of next year. And although not very many details have been released thus far, it could include some very neat features.
In a poll featured on VBWorld (vb-world.net), users were polled as to what feature they would most like to see integrated into the next version of Visual Basic. Over fifty percent of respondents said no runtime files.
Other options included “DirectX support”, “Icons in Menus”, “Better Installer”, “Easy SubClassing”, and “HTML Help”.
Which of those features looks worthy? Well adding icons to the menu editor should take hardly any effort on the part of Microsoft, so its a good possibility. With the news of Intel creating an alternative to DirectX, Im betting Microsoft isnt taking any chances. Look for better DirectX support in VB7 also. What about runtime files? Well considering the last three versions of VB have had them, the chances dont look to good for Microsoft trashing them.
Regardless of the fact that Microsoft has muddled some of its new product names, Windows DNA is getting a new push from behind. Web integration into VB7 will be greatly increased from where it stands now. Also look for some sort of support for instant messaging. If Microsoft adds a control for the proposed IM protocol, millions of developers would have access, and eventually AOL would be forced to comply. Its a very real possibility.
There are many more things that will be added to the upcoming release, however Microsoft has been slow to release details. However its safe to assume the main difference between VB6 and VB7 will be Internet.