6 Comments

Summary:

PC, Mac and Linux users are finally able to upgrade Boxee to its most recent version – but they won’t be getting any future upgrades. The company announced today that it is officially abandoning the PC platform, completely concentrating on CE devices instead.

press-boxee-logo

Boxee released version 1.5 of its software for Windows, Mac and Linux users Monday – but at the same time announced that it is moving away from supporting computers for its platform. The latest version, which comes with a completely revamped UI, is up to par with the upcoming 1.5 version of the Boxee Box, safe for the availability of some of its most poplar apps. Though there will be some big exceptions: PC users won’t be able to access content from Netflix, Vudu and Pandora due to DRM restricitions.

Boxee has always had a difficult relationship with PC users – the platform originated on Mac computers, but Boxee moved towards CE devices with the release of its Boxee Box more than a year ago. The company promised back then that it would release an updated version for PCs as well, but this took longer than expected, which led to some disgruntled reactions from users.

Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen explained to me today that today’s release is a way to make good on this promise. But the accompanying blog post is also making it very clear that the company won’t be supporting this platform going forward: The new 1.5 release for PCs will only be available for download until the end of January.

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  1. Well, that sucks. Back to XBMC or plex then 8(

  2. That’s the wrong reason to it. Making good on a promise to then say this is the last version is not worth the resources that went into this update. If they had made the decision to be on CE devices then this wasn’t neccesry. PC users that were pissed won’t be any happier really – especially with the restrictions and no more updates.

    1. Janko Roettgers JP Monday, December 26, 2011

      I haven’t talked to the Boxee guys in detail about it, but I have a feeling that this was a decision made very recently, when most of the port was already done… startups sometimes have to make tough decisions, especially when they’re venture-backed. Still releasing this version should help some of the folks that have been using Boxee on the PC for local media playback, but I can see that many folks won’t be happy about it.

  3. I like the Boxee guys and consider a few of them friends, but it mildly irks me that XBMC never gets mentioned in the many gigaom articles about Boxee. Clearly, I do a bad job connecting with you guys. As to this news, I’m actually fairly surprised myself, though looking back on the past year of development, it seems like this was the natural progression for the Boxee brand, and I certainly wouldn’t consider holding this move against them.

    – natethomas from XBMC

    1. Suspect if the plex, and xbmc developers went with a ce device model; the decision would be similar, unless they sold the license and handed over future development to the chipset/device manufacturer.

  4. This means nothing considering all Boxee versions 1.0+ has a UI change that completely sucks. I returned my Boxee Box after discovering this. They took out the Facebook video feed and queue off the front and instead made bigger icons for their “recommended” (ie. no-free VUDU) content. The old version (boxee-0.9.23.15885) rocks better than anything out currently, no reason upgrade.

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