Ravan, I never said that, nor did I imply that people should be working for free. I fully support (both in spirit and dollars) developers being paid for their efforts. In 2013, I spent a LOT of money on plugins.
No, no - you miss the point; once you've been in this community awhile, you get the sense of how things operate, and this action goes against some of those unspoken tenets.
Had they released a new kick-ass plugin that had all those features and cost a little money, I would be in the first 10 people to buy it. And they could have kept the free plugin unaffected (and bug-free) and kept a lot of us happy while we migrate to the new product.
Instead, under the guise of an "upgrade", they REMOVED features without notice and caused a lot of people a lot of grief in a lot of websites. And from the other comments, it appears that a bunch of stuff broke, which is also very very odd for websharks. They had been known for top-quality stuff.
Sure, I have the option of not taking the upgrade, but get real here. How many times have you said "gee, there's an upgrade to xyz plugin. I think I'll spend the next hour trying to figure out if I want it or not?" Assuming of course, that they clearly state that some features are removed and there's a new paid option. I'll wager you click the "select all plugins / upgrade" option every time. Especially across 30 websites that you're maintaining. No, it's not "simple" to downgrade to previous releases and remember to not upgrade next time. Not in the real world anyway.
Not only did I purchase all their s2Member stuff, I told at least 50 other people how cool it was, and I know of at least 6 people who bought it. That's called "generating good will" and its how you can make a lot of money here. Under-promise and over-deliver. That's what they were known for. The converse of that, "generating ill will" can kill a business. It is virulent and fast when it happens, and this kind of stuff generates ill will.
Adding injury to insult, I spent an hour removing the plugin from all my websites and replacing it with something else.
But thank you for your reasoned response. I get your point of view and I actually align with much of it. If you code a mile in my sandals, you might see why this was such a slap.