Speaking of Microsoft acquisitions, a graphic reminder that they don’t always turn out to be super successful is that Microsoft this week also announced the retirement of FoxPro which they acquired in 1992 for $173M:
We have been asked about our plans for a new version of VFP. We are announcing today that there will be no VFP 10. VFP9 will continue to be supported according to our existing policy with support through 2015 (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=7992). We will be releasing SP2 for Visual FoxPro 9 this summer as planned, providing fixes and additional support for Windows Vista.
Additionally, as you know, we’ve been working on a project codenamed Sedna for the past year or so. Sedna is built using the extensibility model of VFP9 and provides a number of new features including enhanced connectivity to SQL Server, integration with parts of the .NET framework, support for search using Windows Desktop Search and Windows Vista as well as enhanced access to VFP data from Visual Studio.
To reiterate, today we are announcing that we are not planning on releasing a VFP 10 and will be releasing the completed Sedna work on CodePlex at no charge. The components written as part of Sedna will be placed in the community for further enhancement as part of our shared source initiative. You can expect to see the Sedna code on CodePlex sometime before the end of summer 2007.
FoxPro (actually Fox Software) has had a storied role in PC software history, but a despite a loyal following, it was clearly being eclipsed by Microsoft’s other tooling. See Robert Shelton’s blog and Alan Griver’s blog for informal tributes and nostalgia from within Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Ken Levy has the news:
Download Visual FoxPro 9.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1). SP1 provides the latest updates to Visual FoxPro 9.0 combining various enhancements and stability improvements into one integrated package.
With the recent release of Visual FoxPro 9.0, the Visual FoxPro team at Microsoft is now working on a new project, code-named Sedna, that takes advantage of enhancements in Visual FoxPro 9.0. The primary goal of Sedna is to expand on the ability of Visual FoxPro-based solutions to better integrate with other Microsoft products and technologies.
Features in Sedna will target Visual FoxPro interoperability with application components created by using Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0, and SQL Server 2005. Sedna will also help improve the ability for Visual FoxPro 9.0 solutions to be successfully deployed on the upcoming new Windows operating system Microsoft Vista (formerly code named Longhorn). Sedna is currently scheduled to be released in the first half of 2007 and will require Visual FoxPro 9.0.
As indicated in prior public statements, Microsoft does not plan to merge Visual FoxPro into Visual Studio .NET, nor are there plans to create a new Visual FoxPro .NET programming language. Visual FoxPro will remain stand-alone Win32 based, and will run on 64-bit Windows in 32-bit compatibility mode.