Microsoft is axing standard support for the Visual Basic 6.0 development tool at the end of the month, so developers will have to pay for extended supported from April.
The move has angered some in the developer community, with a number starting a petition to persuade Microsoft to reverse its decision.
Microsoft wants developers to adopt its Visual Basic .net development tool, but the protesters have pointed out that applications written with Visual Basic 6 would have to be re-written to work with the newer platform.
As well ending phone and online support and critical updates for Visual Basic 6 from 31 March, Microsoft will stop issuing service packs for the software.
For a fee, however, Microsoft will continue to offer phone and on-line support as well as fixes, until March 2008.
Visual Basic 6 was released in March 1999.