When you purchase the Faultmate Extreme, you get access to the BlackBox operated forum that has the software, including updates for the 3.
Off the link below, go to the Support page. You will not be able to actually download anything however unless you have access. To get access, you have to buy the appropriate pieces. Also when you purchase the Extreme, its internal software is tied to vehicle serial number. Unless you purchase the multi-serial number software, then your device only works with your 3. If you sell your 3 and get say a 4, then serials numbers can be changed, but in short, the device you purchase only works with the initial Land Rover serial number that you input.
As to why the official Land Rover dealer software costs so much, I presume that is a way for the factory to get back at their dealers re warrenty repair. The dealers have no choice but to purchase the package at the factory price so ....
Re the factory equipment, the data we want access is considered proprietary, and for that it is felt by the factory that you must pay the dealer so he can not only get his investment back, but get a return on the investment as well - otherwise, the money spent is an expense.
Factory software updates fall into this sort of thinking as well. "We did not do it right the first time, however this time we think we have it", so if you want to try out our latest Beta, then pay up. This is established business practice. The latest world application of this policy is Windows 7.
My view of most all off the shelf scanners is that they can only access the real simple faults and pollution control stuff. That is all US law requires.
BlackBox does have a device, (Faultmate FCR), that reads and clears LR faults - (all of them, but no software updating capability), and costs less than $US350.00. I think that they are back ordered as a lot of the Brits are buying them.
I do however, have a Scan Gauge II mounted on my steering column. It is a scanner of sorts, and I must say that it did clear some fault, (P000), that made the MIL light illuminate right after a dealer oil change - so it has some use in that manner. The primary reason I purchased it was to have digital readouts of water temperature, volts, vacuum etc - the gauges missing from my 3, (and everyone elses).
Blackbox Solutions Ltd. Downloads Page