That is certainly understandable but I guess my issue with it (since the policy isn't going to change) is that this isn't really explained anywhere. For such a big change, I would have expected at least a post in the News section detailing the change and the reasoning. Or that there wasn't a post in the forum for the beta users that this change will occur once it gets out of beta/RC.
This is mentioned in the news post about the news release: "...additionally, we are changing our licensing policy concerning Free Community Edition. You can check Version comparison page for more information."
Sorry to keep this going, but I feel there's a misunderstanding. No one is saying the change is not obvious now
. What I personally am disappointed about is the fact that this change in licensing was not (as far as I remember) clearly communicated before
the whole beta testing process took place. I participated in this process, using an unstable version, reporting bugs and working with your developer Andrei, testing in multiple Azure environments and SSMS versions. All of that was under the previous gentlemen's agreement that in exchange for using the unstable version and reporting bugs, we would be able to use a stable version once release (and continue participating in the testing program).
I work in software myself, and I obviously understand the need to sell a product and fund development, but I would have expected, at the very least, that either the change in licensing was made very, very clear from the beginning, or that the people who actively participated in the testing would receive a free license as a thank you. Give the former never happened, I am confident you recognise the contribution that some users brought to the development of this product (a commercial one) and offer them a free license for their good faith efforts.
This is a great product and we all want it to thrive and succeed, so I hope this episode won't be the fly in the ointment that spoils it.