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May 13, 2004

Movable Type 3.0 Out, MT Price Plan in Effect

(Updated) Six Apart announced the debut of two major changes for Movable Type: a price structure, and the availability of what they call the "developer's" version of Movable Type 3.0 (a suave euphemism for "so beta you can see the wires poking out of it").

The new price schedule initially took me aback, until I looked again. True, the basic commercial version is almost $200. But the personal version, normally $99.99, is currently discounted at $69.99, and if you donated (and I did), you get credit for your update keys, up to the price of the license. That reduces my costs to $19.99, and heck yeah, it's worth it.

What is a personal user? That may be up for discussion, based on the following blurb on their site, which appears to be missing a few words: "The personal use license can not be used for any , or a web developer purchasing a license on behalf of a client." Whatever that "any" is, I'm sure I'm not doing it. I haven't (yet) figured out how to add a graphic to the banner on my site, let alone peddle Free Range Librarian thongs or sell downloads of my version of "You Can Leave Your Hat On." I'm just another librarian happy for a clean, well-lighted place.

What do you get for $69.99 (or less, if you can boast of earlier virtue)? The entry level personal blog provides for three authors and five blogs, plus tech support, which for me is a major security blanket. Perfect! I have three blogs that are important to me, and a couple of play-around blogs (including the place where FRL will sport its own domain name and a new design within the next month).

Not only that, "accredited" educational institutions are eligible for discounts (that would include libraries, I'd hazard), and if you realio, trulio can't pay for MT, Six Apart will continue to support a one-user, three-blog personal version that won't cost you a nickel (you cheapskate, you). You won't get tech support, of course.

I feel about Movable Type pricing the way I do about Paint Shop Pro: a terrific price for what the product offers.

I'm going to buy a license (as soon as I track down my old license keys) and finally upgrade to 2.66. I'd really like to upgrade to 3.0 and play around with all the cool-beans features, particularly comment registration (I have given up on posting recent comments on my sites because I battle a flood of spam). However, we are warned that stepping forward to 3.0 could result in frequent upgrades at unexpected intervals (which is euphemistic language for "we are hoping the 'developer community' catches the first 500 bugs this week, but don't count on it"). Pioneers get the best territory, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Congrats to Six Apart on this move forward into digital adulthood, and thanks for a wonderful product. Can't wait to see what 3.0 looks like--from a safe distance, behind the cheese.

Posted by kgs at May 13, 2004 03:23 PM

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Cheapskate? Not really. They offer all I need for free, so why should I pay for it? Sure, I'll dontate some $$ when I can, but for now, I'm happy with the free version. The user forums are great for any kind of tech support I need, so I'm not even missing that.

I am looking forward to comment registration. While I appreciate the work that Jay Allen has put into MT-Blacklist, and my logs show quite a few turnaways as a result, I think that comment registration may end up being a more effective way of ridding comment spam. At least until the spammers figure out how to get around it.

Posted by: Anna at May 14, 2004 07:33 AM

What are the educational discounts? The FAQ still says educational institutions are not required to pay. And what exactly does the commitment to a free version entail?

We'll be happy to pay our fair share, but we just went live with a product that I thought was free to non-profits, and now the new version is primarily raising questions about what we need to pay, and what restrictions a license will come with.

And btw, is there any state-funded institution that can "donate what they feel the software is worth" on a purchase order?

Posted by: Thomas Dowling at May 14, 2004 12:33 PM

Tom, ask them and report back. Based on the Trackbacks to their announcement on Mena's corner, at http://sixapart.com/corner/archives/2004/05/its_about_time.shtml , they could use a friendly query from the educational community.

They should have primed users in advance--surprise is not a Good Thing--but I don't fault them for charging for their product.

Posted by: K.G. Schneider at May 14, 2004 02:09 PM