Six Apart has once again altered their Movable Type pricing and licensing schemes: Six Log: Announcing Pricing & Licensing Changes to Movable Type
I think the changes may appease some people, for whom the Personal Edition may not have been quite worth the price. These people were willing and able to pay $69.95-$99.95 to run a Movable Type installation, but didn’t feel that they were getting enough for their money. Now, for $69.95, you can run a blog with up to five authors and unlimited weblogs. For thirty dollars more, you can have unlimited authors.
I think it may be a good deal for some, but not for me. Here is what I would get if I paid for a license:
- The ability to upgrade to the latest version of Movable Type, version 3.0
- The ability to have up to five weblog authors, and unlimited weblogs
- Official technical support from Six Apart
- Extra online resources and help documentation
- Optional weblog promotion
- Access to custom consulting services
- Discounts on future upgrades
Only benefits 1 and 2 would be of any use to me. The rest are unnecessary in my case. I can understand the need to charge for those additional services. But I think Six Apart should separate the first two logically from the rest of the benefits – we should be able to download the software, install it, and run it for free, with as many authors and weblogs as we want. But Six Apart is a business, and they care about their bottom line. While there is no logical reason for them to roll benefits 1 and 2 in with the rest (you can debate whether loss of “potential” profit is a logical reason), doing so will undoubtedly increase their profits and help improve their business by banking on the fact that many users will pay for 1 and 2, even if they don’t need the rest. But I would argue that their business model wouldn’t suffer too much if they restructured pricing to a simple paid support model, which companies like Sun and Oracle use for their software.
In the end, I will still be sticking with our current Movable Type 2.661 installation until such time as I have a reason to switch to something else. It’s working well for us now, and Six Apart is not forcing us to switch, so it’s really up to me as to when and if we will upgrade.
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