Feb 04

Red Gate has announced that .NET Reflector will no longer be free at the end of February 2011.  According to an open letter by Neil Davidson, Red Gate’s co-CEO:

”Red Gate has announced that it will charge $35 for version 7 of .NET Reflector upon its release in early March.  Version 7 will be sold as a perpetual license, with no time bomb or forced updates.

As many of you know, our original intention was to maintain .NET Reflector as a free tool.  But, after two-and-a-half years of providing it without charge, we realized that we could not make the free model work.  We know that this will cause pain for some people in the .NET community, and we apologize for the change in policy.

As a commercial company, we need to charge at least a nominal amount to keep .NET Reflector up-to-date and relevant.  Without revenue coming in, we cannot dedicate a team of developers to ensure that Reflector remains a valuable part of .NET developers’ toolboxes.”

There is nothing wrong with a commercial business trying to make money.  That’s the whole point of being a for-profit company.  But this move does represent a betrayal of the original vision of .NET Reflector’s creator, Lutz Roeder:

“Red Gate will continue to provide the free community version and is looking for your feedback and ideas for future versions.”

In an ideal world, Red Gate would honor Roeder’s vision and forever maintain a free community version.  But Roeder sold away his rights, and Red Gate has to make money to remain in business.  All things considered, a one-time $35 fee is not that expensive for such a useful tool, so I will become a paying customer. 

There is always a little sting when a free product or website goes commercial.  But if the .NET community has a problem with it, then we need to build and release our own open-source reflector.

.NET Reflector

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Article published on February 4, 2011

11 Responses to “.NET Reflector No Longer Free”

  1. Tweets that mention .NET Reflector No Longer Free -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComputerGeeker and TechnologyLover, Development Topics. Development Topics said: .NET Reflector No Longer Free – http://devtopics.com/1x […]

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  3. Richard Says:

    Charging for v7 is fine, but deleting v6 to force users to upgrade is nothing short of extortion.

  4. .NET Reflector不再免费 - 玎蕾博客 Says:

    […] 原文:https://www.devtopics.com/net-reflector-no-longer-free/ […]

  5. timm Says:

    Ask and ye shall receive. ILSpy is an open-source .NET assembly browser and decompiler. Development started after Red Gate announced that .NET Reflector would no longer be free at the end of February 2011.


  6. .NET Reflector不再免费 | laura's site Says:

    […]   原文:https://www.devtopics.com/net-reflector-no-longer-free/ […]

  7. GrayWolf Says:

    GrayWolf is a tool targeted at filling the void left by Red-Gate.
    Currently it gets you into code much like Reflector
    It goes farther. incorporating the ability to change the target’s IL (like reflexil add on)…..

    This tool is just a stepping stone to what is in the works:)

    you can get this program from http://www.DigitalbodyGuard.com

  8. Jesse Says:

    When I ran the “free” version that I already had, and it told me there was a newer version available and do I want to get it, I said “no”… so… IT DELETED MY FRIGGIN VERSION 5 EXECUTABLE!!!!!

    If I don’t want to upgrade, that does NOT mean I am okay with you deleting something I already have. Even if I said “yes”, I would not be okay with deleting my free version before you tell me the upgrade is not free. I didn’t have a “trial” version, I had a “free” version… so… whatever.

    I will NOT be dealing with Redgate ever again, and I hope they go out of business.

  9. Dave Says:

    We’ve had Watergate.
    We’ve had Nipplegate.
    Now we have Redgate.

    It is a scandal that users who downloaded the ‘free’ with the explicit commitment that it would remain free have now the choice to either pay up, or lose the tool. This is extortion.

    To offer the tool for free for so many years was a great contribution to the .net community, but also ensured that no competing products entered the market. Redgate are now brazenly abusing the position so gained to milk existing users for cash.

    No one objects to version 7 and beyond costing something, and 35 dollars is well worth it for an excellent tool. However, I strongly encourage Redgate to reverse their policy of extortion, allow version 6 to remain free, remove the ‘forced update’ policy, and motivate people to pay willingly for version 7 and above by virtue of product enhancements.

    Otherwise Redgate will really go down in history as another ‘-gate’.

  10. sdasdasd Says:

    Am I the only one who misunderstood the meaning of ‘Free’?

  11. Manny Says:


    Change your system date before you launch reflector, then change it back 🙂


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