Visual FoxPro’s Future

Question:
Does Microsoft have a marketing plan to retire Visual FoxPro after the release of version 7.0?

Answer:
If Microsoft has a plan to retire VFP, they do not appear to be sharing it with anyone. Rumors about the “death” of FoxPro have been circulating since Fox 2.x—almost four releases later, and we are still here and getting better with each release.

Microsoft has said publicly that it sees VFP’s role in Visual Studio as the creation of middle-tier components (components without visual interfaces). That does not necessarily mean that it will be used only for middle-tier development, but only time will tell; VFP 7 is not going to ship for a while.

I must stress that I am not saying whether VFP 7 will or will not be the last version of VFP. Only time will tell.

If you are worried about your career options, I can say two things. First, a ton of legacy systems are out there. Many VFP developers still are supporting Fox 2.x systems&mdashin other words, even if VFP goes no further than version 7, VFP work still will be available. Second, if you are a developer who values using and being up on the latest technology and have concerns about VFP’s future, learning VB certainly will not hurt your resume, not to mention the facts that it will give you a leg up on technology like VBScript, and that most sample code on the Microsoft site is written in VB or VBScript.

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