I’m really surprised by how much Six Apart is planning to charge for Movable Type 3.0, especially when you consider that the only significant new feature (comment management) is offset by new limitations on the number of authors, blogs, and CPUs (UpdateSix Apart has removed the CPU limit from the license, claiming it was a mistake). The cheapest version is $100, with a $70 introductory price. I can get a $45 discount off the price due to a donation I made for a previous version, but that still leaves me paying another $25 for not much more, and arguably even less.
Fortunately for me, they will offer a free version that will meet most of my needs. I’ve never needed support from them, I don’t need their help with an install (see my MT install notes if you need help installing MT on a shared server at DreamHost), I don’t use any of their fee-based services, I don’t use it commercially, I’m the only author, and I have only two blogs. I use the second blog to test out major changes before I roll them out on my public blog. While my blog currently qualifies to appear the “Recently Updated List” because of my past donation, giving up that feature is no big deal to me.
I think this is a case where the really is such a thing as bad publicity. They’ve managed to piss off many of their most faithful and passionate supporters.
Obviously I don’t mind paying money for good software, as I gave them money before when I really didn’t have to. However, I do mind paying a lot more than what something is worth to me and I mind onerous new restrictions.
Well, in the short term I will probably upgrade to 2.661 and then maybe to the free version of 3.0, though I wonder if that time would be better spent checking out tools like Blosxom, PyBlosxom, WordPress, or TextPattern. I started blogging with Radio, but got frustrated with all the bugs, the lack of documentation, and the lack of support for Linux. Also, at $40 a year, Radio isn’t likely to be much cheaper than MT in the long run.
I had previously advocating the use of Movable Type for blogging at work, but the price to get started has turned it into a major purchase. I was already facing an uphill challenge just to get people excited about it. Also, I was planning to use MT to set up a blog for a non-profit organization I volunteer for. Although it’s an environmental organization, I doubt that qualifies as an “educational institution”. Even then, you need to write them for pricing. I think this is a road I don’t want to head down.