I think his reply caused even more damage, it showed a FU attitude towards us users, users that have made the product better by additional software, free and otherwise, and users that have made the product better and more stable by beta testing new and existing code. I think there would not be an issue if they offered stellar support through their help desk, or over the phone, but they do not. I have had tickets that sit unsolved and unresponded for months. This is in the base system, not related to plug-ins. The current forum offers excellent support in most areas, and most of the support is from it's members and not the HS staff.
Now if they decided to increase prices for software they wrote that would be one thing, but it is software they had no involvement in.
I for one feel that if they felt it cost money for these people to put their plug-ins into the updater and put a spot in the forums, then they should directly charge the developer a one-time fee, I.E. $100 to put their plug-in into the system. Then the developer can then decide on their own price and when or if they will profit.
Now I am in no way saying HS does not offer support, but I feel they do not offer enough dedicated support to these non-HS plug-ins to justify locking their price to the consumers.
If HS wants to make money then I would have no issue paying a yearly subscription for a dedicated support section of the forum, but if that were the case I would expect some level of support directly from HS and not just the users. I for one like this method as I feel that seeing the problems and resolutions from HS posted may save everyone a lot of time and troubles. The regular board is great, but it is not always correct in it's solutions, many times I have been sent on a wild goose chase by a helpful forum user. I have no issues with this as it was free, and my option.
I for one have provided many free scripts, and as much support to these as I can. If I had the time I would do the same for plug-ins.
I am one of the few that is trying to make money with HS as a consultant/integrator. I can say that what I need is stability and support and if HS was doing this to provide better support and stability I would be 100% behind it. But that is not the case.