It would be a mistake to focus on "vb-xml" vs. Java-xml. Firstly, Microsoft's current toolset is COM-based and geared toward accomodating scripting as well as VB. You could use JScript just as easily as VB (and in fact, there are a small number of features that are only available in JScript). Secondly, Microsoft's platform is undergoing a major shift toward a rather Java-like architecture. They are introducing a new language (C#) modelled after Java. C# will be based on the same engine (their new "Common Language Runtime", or "CLR") as the next generation VB, and will be an integral part of their forthcoming .NET platform. .NET will offer significant new tools for "web services" and XML data binding. So you'd be better to ask the future of .NET vs. Java/XML.
In response to that latter question, both will experience parallel advancements and will offer rich tools for dealing with XML. Both will offer tools for "web services", both will provide data binding tools so that programmers can deal with objects and types native to their programming environment (XML will be just "plumbing" for such uses), both will be providing support for the same prevailing standards. One will also continue to see such advancements with other platforms and languages (e.g. Python, Perl).