Matt Mullenweg has announced the first of what will likely be many paid upgrades for the WordPress.com blog service. They’ve unveiled a new theme called Sandbox that is devoid of much in the way of CSS, and for $15 a year you earn the right to customize your own stylesheet for that theme. Sandbox also has options for changing the overall feel of the site, moving columns around and more, so users aren’t stuck with just designing the stylesheet.
$15 a year? That’s a great deal. It’s not too pricey, but if even 5% of WordPress.com users sign up for the paid service, they’ll be making a decent chunk of change. It’ll also be interesting to see what kind of stylesheets spring up around the web for the Sandbox theme.