May 13, 2004
Movable Type 3.0 Developer Edition Released
Six Apart has just released Movable Type 3.0 Developer Edition as the latest version of their blogging software. Please note this is not the general release, which is forthcoming.
Along with new features, there's a new pricing and licensing structure that upgraders should review. You'll also want to read Mena Trott's post today regarding their commitment to offering a free MT 3.0 version and the changes in their licensing structure. Some of the heated comments to her post, such as the one on Derek's Rantings and Musings discuss the financial hardship caused by limiting the free version to a single author, three blogs, and a single CPU, (licensing as opposed to physical software restriction?) and the commercial licenses are somewhat more expensive than previously. However, the Personal Licenses are more reasonably priced, especially if one takes advantage of the current introductory pricing offer.
As much as I like to see good free software, I'm also keenly aware of the value good systems like Movable Type provide, and I'd rather see them progress than stagnate or hobble along. I anticipated that as Movable Type matured and succeeded, we would be seeing a more limited approach to the free version for non-commercial use. After all, they have expenses and need to generate revenue to stay in business. However, I too was hoping to see more flexibility on non-commercial blogs that are personal endeavors -- where the blog sites are not generating revenue to cover the blog software expense.
According to Mena's post, right now it appears that only the Developer Edition is being released, and Six Apart will not be offering their paid installation service for it, so it's really only for the die-hard Movable Type users. Six Apart will then be offering the general release with more support. So I'd recommend holding off on any upgrades for now.
However, for new bloggers, I still highly recommend their hosted TypePad service as perhaps the easiest way to put up a nicely featured and professionally-looking blog with little effort and cost.
[Update: TechDirt has a critical post on the new MT pricing structure, and it will be interesting to see how Six Apart responds to the numerous noisy negative posts surrounding their change in pricing structure. Single author MT blogs may not be as directly affected as the multiple-author blogs, but the drastic change in licensing and pricing has many of the latter feeling betrayed by a bait and switch tactic. However, I feel compelled to point out that it appears so far that the previous versions are still free, and that the change in pricing affects version 3.0.]
Topic(s): Blogging Tips
Posted by Jeff Beard