Microsoft Plans to Deprecate VBScript in Windows to Block Malware


Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft has announced plans to deprecate VBScript due to its legacy nature and concerns about security vulnerabilities that have been exploited in the past.
  • Before its complete removal, Microsoft will transition VBScript to be an optional feature in Windows, ensuring users have a grace period to adjust and prepare for its eventual retirement.
  • The deprecation of VBScript aligns with Microsoft’s goal to enhance the security of future Windows versions.

VBScript, once the go-to tool for Windows enthusiasts and IT professionals, is gradually inching towards its sunset. Microsoft has quietly updated its list of deprecated features to indicate that it’s planning to completely remove the scripting language in future versions of Windows.

VBScript (also called Visual Basic Scripting Edition) is a scripting language that allows users to automate tasks and add new capabilities to Windows applications. The feature is often used to manage administrative tasks such as configuring system settings, managing files and folders, and interacting with Windows Registry. It’s also possible to create scripts that interact with Windows apps and components, including Active Directory and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

In 2019, Microsoft disabled VBScript by default in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) on Windows 10. The company explained that VBScript is a legacy scripting language with security vulnerabilities, and it has been used in various malicious activities to spread malware. In recent years, many organizations have transitioned to other scripting languages such as PowerShell.

To tackle these issues, Microsoft intends to phase out VBScript in upcoming Windows versions. Going forward, VBScript will be offered as an optional component until its eventual removal from the operating system.

“VBScript is being deprecated. In future releases of Windows, VBScript will be available as a feature on demand before its removal from the operating system,” Microsoft explained in a list of the deprecated features for Windows client. “Initially, the VBScript feature on demand will be preinstalled to allow for uninterrupted use while you prepare for the retirement of VBScript.”

VBScript deprecation in Windows: A step towards greater security, but what does it mean for end users?

The impending deprecation of VBScript also signals the end of the road for the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). The popular deployment solution relies on VBScript and it’s not supported with Windows 11 PCs.

Microsoft’s planned discontinuation of VBScript is part of its efforts to make the next generation of Windows more secure. While this move simplifies the tasks of IT Professionals, it’s unclear how many end users would be impacted.