Great tools are hard to find. Great free tools are even harder and when you do find them, the financial, legal or support situation surrounding them is often neglected, discarded or overseen. I'm sorry to see CoreConfigurator, the great free tool to configure Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008 meet this same faith.
Guy Teverovsky explained today why he had to pull the download for CoreConfigurator roughly seven weeks ago: (quoting)
As some of you have noticed, I have removed the recent posts about CoreConfigurator and the download of the tool is not working anymore. This is not a temporary hiccup and the reason I have not put a clarification about what is going on is that there were some things going on behind the scenes. The point is that I developed the tool at my spare time, but the contract with my employer at the time of developing the tool stated that anything I develop (even at my spare time) belongs to my employer.
The bottom line is that the company I worked for has asked me to remove the tool from the web. I will not be developing the tool anymore and can not support it. I have asked about the future of the tool and there is a good chance that it will be re-branded under my former employer logo and will be released to public (not sure whether as shareware or something you pay for). The moment I have more details I will make sure to post an update about CoreConfigurator whereabouts.
The future of CoreConfigurator at this moment seems unclear, but Guy hints his former employer might be releasing it under their flag. No word on releasing it as freeware though, which means it might be the end of CoreConfigurator as we know it.
A while back I posted on how I thought Guy could improve CoreConfigurator to make the tool more useful and usable. It seems this might now be a free advice to the new people working (and possible benefiting in the future) from the new CoreConfigurator.
I doubt a large (Israeli) corporation will have the same modest attitude towards the Microsoft community, the same drive and enthusiasm to create great free tools (like ADRestore.Net, numerous Active Directory scripts and Group Policy Administrative Templates), set high standards for quality, communicate in an open and straightforward manner on a blog, and the same selflessness as a Microsoft MVP.
A large corporation might be able to offer enterprise-class support on a tool, but everyone knows support costs money…