It could seem that M$oft had unilaterally mandated the demise of VB, but as @f0dder
VB6 is from 1998. As of March 2008 it has entered MS's unssuported phase. And that's about time, really - there's a lot of things that are horribly, horribly wrong with VB. 10 years is (way) enough.
We are creatures of habit, and it's comforting to be able to continue with your programming in the languages that you have invested so much of your cognitive surplus in over the years, and so I guess in that way I still miss PLAN IV, FORTRAN, and BASIC - and even teaching my kids to use LOGO and BASIC. I have noticed that getting over the first language you learned and moving to another language often seems to be a big hurdle for many people. This is what is meant by "Resistance to change".
Having said that, I did wonder about the seemingly brutal and unannounced (well, I hadn't been told to expect it) introduction by M$oft of the ".NET Framework", and I thought to myself, "What the heck is this? Why is this necessary?" Then I saw how, unless I wished to be excommunicated, I really could not avoid having M$oft install this .NET Framework - what seemed to be a fat, bloated support infrastructure for .NET onto my Windows OS. This was supposed to make my PC experience a better world? I doubted it very much, and I still do. What it does do is consolidate M$oft's monopoly "lock-in" of us as helpless customers - and the same seems to be being repeated for Silverlight, which is becoming almost as promiscuous as Adobe products in installing itself into your OS. No thanks.
Regardless of the words spoken or arguments written about this, this probably isn't about "improving the experience of the end user" or "making life easier for developers" at all, but more a matter of unpublished M$oft policy for maintaining continued supremacy by introducing compellingly attractive/necessary products that improve M$oft lock-in. Nothing wrong in that in the capitalist model - it's what all great computer companies have practiced since at least the '70s. If, as a by-product of this, the experience of the developers can be said to have been improved in some way, well then, that's what it was all about, after all - wasn't it?
Presumably M$oft feels the need to keep itself ahead of their competitive monster, Java, and now the new kraken - the fat, bloated Adobe AIR.