Microsoft says VBScript will be ripped from Windows in future release

It's PowerShell or something similar in the not too distant future

Microsoft is officially splitting from VBScript after a 27-year relationship and plans to remove the scripting language entirely in a future Windows release.

The IT giant said on Monday that VBScript, short for Visual Basic Scripting Edition, has been deprecated in an update to its list of "Deprecated features for Windows client."

"VBScript is being deprecated," Microsoft said. "In future releases of Windows, VBScript will be available as a feature on demand before its removal from the operating system."

Only a month ago, Microsoft announced the pending retirement of another software elder, WordPad.

VBScript debuted in 1996 and its most recent release, version 5.8, dates back to 2010. It is a scripting language, and was for a while widely used among system administrators to automate tasks until it was eclipsed by PowerShell, which debuted in 2006.

"Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition brings active scripting to a wide variety of environments, including Web client scripting in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Web server scripting in Microsoft Internet Information Service," Redmond explains in its help documentation.

Unfortunately, Microsoft never managed to get other browser makers to support VBScript, so outside of Microsoft-exclusive environments, web developers tended to favor JavaScript for client-side tasks.

It's not as if anyone didn't see this coming. At least as far back as 2016, Microsoft said VBScript was deprecated in Internet Explorer.

In 2017, Zhihua Lai, a Microsoft software engineer based in the UK, launched a website called that argues all's well with the scripting language. VBScript, he says, "My favorite programming language…"

The claim that VBScript is alive and well became harder to sustain two years later when, in August 2019, Microsoft disabled VBScript in Internet Explorer, before retiring Internet Explorer in June 2022.

Nonetheless, the VBScript website, last updated December 31, 2020, insists, "VBScript may seem outdated, and the support for VBScript is discontinued, but it is still being used in many places. Windows administrators may find it easier to learn/write than Powershell scripts."

VBScript's pending demise also means the end for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, which depends on VBScript. MDT is already on notice now that it's not supported with Windows 11.

Microsoft's planned discontinuation of VBScript may be in part motivated by security concerns, given that VBScript can be a malware vector. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like