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RedGate Reflector Announcement

Here is a copy of an email I sent earlier this evening to RedGate, in response to their announcement regarding Reflector (



Subject: Reflector free version being discontinued?

Earlier today I came across an announcement on the RedGate .NET Reflector landing page regarding the future of the product.  Your decision to make version 7 a paid-product is a little disappointing, but not really surprising.  You are, after all, a commercial enterprise, and I understand the need to charge for the products and services you provide – even if they were previously made available to the development community free of charge.

What disturbs me, however, is your decision to end our ability as developers from using the earlier versions of the tool after May 30, 2011, according to the FAQs on this announcement ( ):

Q: How much longer will I be able to obtain and use a free version of .NET Reflector?
A: A free version will be available for download until the release of Version 7, scheduled for early March. The free version will continue working until May 30, 2011.

Do I understand this correctly?  If I were to fire up Reflector on May 31, and receive the "a new version is available, would you like to update now?" message, and I respond "No", will the tool continue to function?  Or will it say "sorry, you must upgrade to version 7 to continue using this tool", which will require a minimum payment of $35?

I look forward to your clarifying response.

Mark Gilbert.
Microsoft Developers of Southwest Michigan



Update 2/5/2011: Anthony from the RedGate .NET Reflector team responded in less than a day:

“Just to clarify your question, the free version will continue to work until May 30th 2011. So you will need to upgrade to the new version after this period.”

Terribly disappointing.  I responded to Anthony, and very pointedly argued how terrible an idea to time-bomb version 6 was, and what two possible solutions would be – remove the time-bomb from version 6 and/or create a stripped-down, free edition of version 7.

The RedGate forums have been hopping since the announcement, and there are a lot of people very upset about this.  It’s also interesting that in all of the feedback, there has been very little response by RedGate, at least on the forums.  My hope is that the folks at RedGate HQ are reviewing this feedback and are formulating a change to their approach.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | Tools and Toys, Visual Studio/.NET | Comments Off on RedGate Reflector Announcement

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