Interesting. And yes, there certainly are plenty of programming platforms/languages around besides .net. But one of the irritating things which comes up in these sorts of topics is how many people seem to forget that, as if they're "forced" to use .net just because it's what Microsoft is pushing. Two others which are more-or-less a flavor of Basic include RealBasic and LibertyBasic. There's also Delphi, and some open-source projects as well. Heck, I'd even consider creating one too, if it was a group effort.
In other words, the .NET run-time will be incorporated into the Windows operating system, if this has not already been done. Microsoft could then phase out executable files with byte code files taking their place. Microsoft would essentially become another Apple, forcing third party software vendors to use Microsoft's development tools and possibly taking a chunk of the software revenue as well. Apple already does this. They get 30% of anything sold through their App Store and their iOS development environment forces developers to use their App Store. Microsoft sees how much money Apple is making and they want that money too.
If Microsoft does this, I predict there would be a major migration to Linux or other operating systems, although Microsoft would surely still enjoy a hefty piece of the market. Some people simply would not upgrade to the so-called "latest and greatest" version of Windows, much like people stopped upgrading to Windows Vista. Unfortunately, this may prevent them from upgrading their hardware as well since the older versions of Windows will no longer be available and may not take advantage of new hardware features. Of course, hackers will find a way around this, but their actions will not be deemed legal by Microsoft. That will not help people like us who are trying to make an honest living.
Sorry for getting a little off topic here, but your fight to save Visual Basic 6 may ultimately be a fight to save Windows as we know it. There are a lot of other non-.NET languages out there, so I doubt Microsoft will ever be completely successful.