After much pomp, circumstance and plenty of clean-up, Six Apart today releases the commercial version of Movable Type 4.
Characterized as "the largest release in the product's history" by EVP and General Manager Chris Alden of Six Apart's professional division, MT4 is the result of collaboration and input from enterprise customers, pro bloggers and the ever opinionated developer community. The latter group has been taking healthy bites out of beta for some time.
Most notably, the v4 release marks Movable Type's departure from the "blogging" pigeonhole. The product is now on its way to becoming a fully fledged Web content management system and community platform.MT4 isn't just unique in terms of its origins and functionality; it also represents a renewed and significant commitment by Six Apart to stand behind and invest in the product, and their core manifesto of blogging for all. A recurring theme with this release has been Six Apart's ability to match enterprise demands with the free-wheeling desires of the less commercial bloggers.
With the v4 release over 50 new features are here to assist your creative process. To cast a wide net, these include:
* A completely redesigned back office interface
* Updated blog dashboard with blog stats built-in
* Native support for "Static Pages" (as compared to "Posts")
* Cross-blog content aggregation
* A file and multi-media asset manager
* Community oriented features such as OpenID support, built-in user registration, user profile pages, a ratings framework, integrated CAPTCHA and more
* A rich text editor (which has, er, generated some animated discussions)
* Improved template management tools
* Integrated caching a la out of the box memcached support * Advanced admin functionalities such as blog cloning, back-up and restore tools and improved import/export capabilities
* The ability to automatically create podcasts and videocasts -- a particularly competitive offering that makes it easier to businesses to include audio and video elements into their Web offerings MT 4 Dashboard Several new resources make the learning and customization curves smoother ones. A new plugin directory includes contributions from numerous members of the MT dev community and the new documentation website with social contributions -- think PHP lang documentation -- is a much welcomed improvement.
The software will appear in a number of languages, including English, French, Dutch, German, Japanese and Spanish. MT 4 Entry Editing Costs have increased and vary depending on type of use, but individual users can nail it free -- though support and maintenance costs US$ 49.95 -- while a five-user commercial license will set you back about US$ 295.
If you act quickly you may have access to a 20 percent discount on commercial licenses, which is only available during launch.
If you're already using MT for commercial purposes, life's good: take advantage of the 40 percent discount off the upgrade cost, but only during the launch period.
If them prices are too much for your not so flush budget, then by all means stay tuned for the coming release of MT Open Source, or MTOS for short. MTOS is currently planned for release in Q3 of 2007. Movable Type Open Source will be a fully-functional, but somewhat simplified version of MT 4.0, released under the less-than-business-friendly GPL license.
Our personal congrats to everybody who worked on this project (hey, even we tested it -- the beta was darned impressive). This really was the result of multiple skills, walks of life and plenty of energy from all camps. We can already hear the collective sighs of pleasure, post-upgrade.