Redgate sort of reversed its decision on .Net Reflector (http://www.reflector.net/2011/04/why-we-reversed-some-of-our-reflector-decision/), and now it looks like – if you are a “current” user of Reflector, then you will get updated to version 6.8 of Reflector which will come with a perpetual license.
The post goes on to talk about why they (RedGate) made the decision to commercialize Reflector.
And the reason I don’t care:
I completely understand a company wanting to make money of its product. Hell its their right!. And at $35 a tool like Reflector was a steal. But what was not their right is to yank a free version from MY computer and then attempt put a version that eventually would require me to pay for using it (post link). To me it is like Amazon sending me a free book and then burns it while I am reading it. Prior to v7, Reflector was free. If v7 was to be a paid version, then they should have let people keep version 6 on their machines and allowed them to decide if they wanted to upgrade to a paid version or not. I am sure people would have upgraded to the next version of .Net reflector if they thought that the features would be useful to them (which would definitely have happened when Microsoft would have released its next version of .Net). To me, RedGate’s action stank of greediness and frankly they were not thinking long-term.
RedGate making me pay for a .Net Reflector version that I was forced to upgrade to.
My problem with Neil Davidson’s post: They don’t seem to realize that people were not pissed that they wanted you to pay for the next version, what people were pissed about was the forced upgrade to a version that needed to be paid for to play with.
Now, as a reaction we have multiple replacements being developed by commercial and the open-source community. ILspy is an open-source alternative that’s worked well for me (http://wiki.sharpdevelop.net/ilspy.ashx). Today, I also tried out JustCompile from Telerik and I like it! (http://blog.aggregatedintelligence.com/2011/04/justdecompile-from-telerik-beta.html).
UPDATE 4/30/2011: If you go to the .Net Reflector site you can only download v7 (paid version) of .Net Reflector. You cannot download v6.x from their website (at least not as of the writing of this update). But I did find an old version of .Net Reflector and when I ran that version, it updated itself to v6.7 (instead of v7). I think it still would be nice if RedGate would provide a download to v6.x from their website (that way every dev that used to use the free version of Reflector would still have access to it and if they wanted the next greatest version, they could pay for it).