VBScript nudged nearer to the grave with next big Windows 11 update

The writing's on the wall for veteran scripting language

Microsoft has sent Windows 11 24H2 into the Release Preview channel and confirmed that VBScript will be starting its journey to full deprecation by becoming an on-by-default Feature On Demand (FOD).

Windows 11 24H2 is this year's annual feature update for Microsoft's flagship operating system. It has been released first in the Windows Insider Release Preview Channel before it becomes generally available later this year.

The feature-heavy release will include updates such as Sudo for Windows, Rust in the Windows kernel, and a number of user interface tweaks, such as the ability to create 7-zip and TAR archives in File Explorer.

It will also include the next evolution of Copilot into an app pinned to the taskbar. "This enables users to get the benefits of a traditional app experience, including the ability to resize, move, and snap the window – feedback we've heard from users throughout the preview of Copilot in Windows," said Microsoft.

A shift to an app means Microsoft can quickly tweak the experience based on feedback.

Microsoft also confirmed that new AI features, such as Recall, would not be available on all PCs since a Copilot+ PC would be required.

While Windows 11 24H2 contains plenty of new features, it also marks the beginning of the end for VBScript. In 2023, Microsoft warned that after almost three decades, it was time for the veteran scripting language to retire.

With 24H2, Microsoft is making good on that promise, making VBScript available as a Feature On Demand (FOD), enabled by default. The company shared a timeline noting that around 2027, the VBScript FOD would be disabled by default and eventually removed entirely from the operating system at an undefined point.

VBScript's shuffle to the grave should not come as a huge surprise. The technology is decades old and has largely been superseded by other scripting languages, although there is likely to be plenty of legacy code out there that depends on it.

Microsoft recommends migrating to PowerShell or JavaScript, depending on what an organization uses VBScript for.

While 24H2 will be packed full of welcome – and some unwelcome – features, it also confirms that Microsoft is sticking to its guns regarding VBScript's deprecation. The update's arrival highlights the need to finally kick off that migration. ®

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