- Dropping MTOS offering - discussed in-depth on expanded post
- MT Pro and MT Advanced - Will be under MT commercial license
- New MT6 Data API - under MIT license so that developers can extend it, build new things, and license them how they want or sell their new work.
- New Loupe web application for mobile - will be under MIT license so that developers can extend it, build new things and license them how they want or sell their new work.
- Will we re-license two recently released themes, Eiger (new responsive web design theme) and Rainier (a new blog theme), under MIT licenses allowing developers to extend or sell their new work?
MT Changes - Clarification
Based on recent comments and conversations that appeared on social media, we thought it would be best to clarify our new licensing policy and explain the reasons for some our the moves being made by Six Apart. After more than 6 years of making MTOS available for free, we don't believe that MTOS, itself, added any significant value to Movable Type as a whole. In fact, since our previous owners released MTOS to try and appease an angry development community that felt betrayed when the previous owners decided to start charging for the software to fund innovation and product support, and the growth of their company, MTOS has not had the effect everyone had hoped for. Since this decision was made and MTOS was release, and with stiff competition from other open source offerings, Movable Type has had a downward trajectory in market share and sales in the US. The community has not grown because of MTOS, nor have we seen download numbers that are any greater than our paid versions of Movable Type, so at this point it does not make any economic sense to continue to maintain and distribute something that is getting very little use. We have decided to put our resources and developers behind MT Pro and Advance, to make them the best offering in the marketplace.
On the contrary, I actually believe that MTOS hurt the adoption of Movable Type in the market. Research has made it quite clear that many IT organization and development firms (outside our community) have wrongly assumed that MTOS was our full version of Movable Type. When customers are evaluating CMS offerings, they compare what they can get for free from Movable Type, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or others. MTOS, because it's not our full feature set offering, makes us compare unfavorably with the other free open source platforms.
One could make the argument based on the above, that the answer is to make all of the software free, which would also solve the problem mentioned above, but there would be a few key business points missing. The top two free, open source CMS offerings compete for business with their community, picking the best clients and projects for themselves - we are sure everyone is familiar with Automattic and Acquia. We don't want to compete with the community, but rather, we want the community to have access to all of the biggest and best clients. All of these organizations exert some type of control to make money, whether its advertisements on free services, fees for hosting, etc. All software providers have made some type of choice that limits their community or users in some way, which is the unfortunate fact of doing business and making money.
In order to avoid confusion, the ideal thing for us to do is to put our best foot forward and put all of our resources and marketing behind our full, paid versions of Movable Type.
That said our goal is also to expand our product offering in the next twelve to eighteen months. These future products may address concerns on cost, access, etc. We really hope you understand why we are going in this direction; one could argue that that this is the path Movable Type should have taken all along.
Robert Minton VP/General Manager Six Apart North America