Upgrading from vb6 to .net. What are the benefits from users and business point of view?

I need to justify a legacy VB6 program to be upgraded to .Net. It must be windows-based only because offline application requirement is a must. We already agreed that .net upgrade can give us huge benefits especially for developers but what I need to know is how I can explain to the users (because they are in reality the one who will pay for the project budget) why we need to upgrade it. Considering that they have used the old system for years and are quite comfortable with it. In other words, I am selling the upgrade idea to the users and other stakeholders who will approve it.

From the users or the business point of view, what are the benefits of upgrading to .net, and can you give me specific scenarios wherein the users benefit?
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Naitik GamitSoftware DeveloperCommented:
upgrade from VB6 to .NET - Migration benefits:

1- Reducing the number of incidents and the total cost associated with the fixes: Having around 3-4 incidents per year at US$3,500–US$4,000 per fix, it was estimated that a migration would reduce this number between 60–70%.

2- Avoiding business disruption: When avoiding the increase in the number of incidents, business disruption is prevented. Migration averts a negative impact upon the company’s value chain caused by the degradation of a business process supported by the system.

3- Providing a competitive advantage: Migration provides an advantage over competitors, allowing the quick development of new system functionalities demanded by the customers. Some of the .NET’s characteristics that facilitate this are distributed technologies support, Web Services, Remoting and Windows Communication Foundation. It is estimated that the effect of losing competitiveness ranges between 4-5% of the revenue per year.

4- Reducing new development efforts: With about 300 new developments per year, a migration to the .NET platform would reduce the effort between 18% – 22%. Some of the .NET characteristics that allow this are the fact that registry configuration or DLL registration is not necessary, a better deployment (sharing of multiple DLL versions, XCOPY, incremental installations, One-Click) and increased productivity (Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, Common Language Runtime (CLR), Common Type System (CTS), .NET Framework Class Library (FCL), Garbage collection, Integrated Development Environment, Task List).

5- Increasing new developments reuse: Some of the .NET integration characteristics that allow this are the easy interaction with .NET components and legacy systems and COM interop allowing the use of components from the original application. Reuse of new developments would range between 16 – 20%.

6- Improving system performance: the .NET platform provides several improvements in this area, such as a multithreading and ASP.NET.

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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
are we talking about just 1 application or a whole suite of applications?
VB6 you are stuck with winforms and console applications
.net gives you windows presentation framework

WPF Advantages
It's newer and thereby more in tune with current standards
Microsoft is using it for a lot of new applications, e.g. Visual Studio
It's more flexible, so you can do more things without having to write or buy new controls
When you do need to use 3rd party controls, the developers of these controls will likely be more focused on WPF because it's newer
XAML makes it easy to create and edit your GUI, and allows the work to be split between a designer (XAML) and a programmer (C#, VB.NET etc.)
Databinding, which allows you to get a more clean separation of data and layout
Uses hardware acceleration for drawing the GUI, for better performance
It allows you to make user interfaces for both Windows applications and web applications (Silverlight/XBAP)

Compared to Winforms Advantages

   It's older and thereby more tried and tested
    There are already a lot of 3rd party controls that you can buy or get for free
    The designer in Visual Studio is still, as of writing, better for WinForms than for WPF, where you will have to do more of the work yourself with WPF

Are you actively supporting this product and upgrading it as time goes by? If not then no need to upgrade it.. if it still works then don't worry about it until the vbruntime is no longer supported. The runtime MAY have un-patched security issues since it went EOL 10 years ago.
AndyAinscowFreelance programmer / ConsultantCommented:
I think you hit the nail on the head in your question.
For your company there are very clear benefits (apart from the extra income of actually doing this conversion).
For the user there is almost no benefit whatsoever to just convert the app.

To sell it to the customer you need some clear benefits they will see - eg. new functionality, easier to use....
Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
Because VB6 is from 1998 and things has changed since! Would we install Windows 98 as the OS on his computer?
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