Freemium Model Ends for .NET Reflector
Red Gate Software has changed course with .NET Reflector, a class browser and decompiler that appears at the top of just about every .NET developer's indispensable tools list. The former community edition of the popular utility will cost $35.00 starting with Version 7, which is expected in early March.
.NET Reflector 6.6 remains free for download until Version 7 is released. Version 6.6 is set to expire on May 30. Commercial versions of the product going forward will not have "time bombs" that force upgrades, according to the company.
A commercial company, Red Gate Software acquired .NET Reflector from its creator, a Microsoft developer named Lutz Roeder, in 2008. At the time, Red Gate implied that it would continue to offer a free community edition; .NET Reflector was initially released as a free tool in 2000 and the standalone version has remained free for about a decade.
This week Red Gate announced that despite good intentions, it could not get the free model to work. The company did not get enough traction with its commercial Visual Studio plug-in .NET Reflector Pro or the expected cross-over to its other developer tools, ANTS Profilers and SQL Compare. Releasing .NET Reflector as an open source project was considered, but Red Gate decided against it.
In a YouTube interview about the decision, Simon Galbraith, Red Gate joint chief executive explains:
"Right now further development doesn't make commercial sense. Reflector is a tool that has to stay current and has to work in all sorts of new ways with mobile devices and new versions of the .NET platform. We need to be able to spend money on it and we can't do so in a commercially justifiable way."
Version 7 introduces a tabbed browsing model and PowerCommands such as a query editor among other features. It comes in three flavors: .NET Reflector, .NET Reflector Visual Studio, which offers a new Object Browser within the IDE and .NET Reflector VS Pro for debugging code from decompiled assemblies even without the source code.
Express your thoughts on these latest developments with .NET Reflector. Are you willing to pay for a commercial version of this indispensable tool? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Kathleen Richards on 02/03/2011 at 12:54 PM