Farewell VBScript: Microsoft confirms plans to begin phasing out the programming language

Software developer coding in VBScript programming language at a computer with screen reflecting in glasses.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Microsoft has announced it will begin phasing out VBScript as part of a multi-stage shift that will begin later in 2024.

There has been a decline in VBScript usage, Microsoft stated, in favor of modern languages that offer “broader capabilities” more suited to modern-day web development, such as PowerShell or JavaScript.

As the advancement of technology has made these “more powerful and versatile” languages available, VBScript is no longer fit for purpose, prompting the firm to pursue a deprecation process. 

The tech giant said it will begin phasing out VBScript gradually, maintaining a steadily declining level of support and availability over the next few years until it is completely removed.  

While Microsoft announced its initial plans to begin the gradual deprecation of VBScript in 2023, the firm is now more clearly detailing the next stages.

What you need to know about the VBScript deprecation process

VBScript will be made available only as features on demand (FOD) in the next OS update, Windows 11 24H2, which is expected later in 2024. By “around 2027”, Windows OS will still have VBScript as FOD, but it will be disabled by default, as part of phase two of the deprecation process. 

The firm stated that the VBScript feature will be “completely retired” from future Windows OS releases as Microsoft transitions to “more efficient” PowerShell experiences, with VBScript’s full removal slated for an undisclosed time.

For those who have applications or websites with VBScript dependencies, Microsoft suggests migration to either JavaScript or PowerShell by way of a solution. 

Why is Microsoft ditching VBScript?

At nearly 30 years of age, VBScript has been around for a considerable time. It was first introduced by Microsoft in 1996 as a lightweight scripting language designed to automate tasks and control applications on Windows-based systems.

Until this planned deprecation, the language has been available as a system component in Windows OS and often embedded in HTML to add “dynamic interactivity and functionality” to web pages.

It has also been commonly used in conjunction with other Microsoft technologies such as Active Server Pages (ASP) and Windows Script Host (WSH). 

With the advent of languages such as JavaScript, however, VBScript has gradually found itself becoming obsolete in modern web development, despite the services it has historically provided. 


By comparison, JavaScript is widely considered a must-know for most developers these days, having been named the most-used language in the world for the tenth year running in 2022 by Stack Overflow. 

Over 65% of developers surveyed said they use the technology either professionally or as part of personal projects.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.