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Boxee officially pulls the plug on PC client

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Want to run Boxee on your PC or Mac? Then hurry up; Boxee is removing all copies of its PC-based app from its servers by the end of the day Tuesday to fully concentrate on the Boxee Box.

The company announced the move late last year, and Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen confirmed Monday that the company is going through with its plans, despite some criticism from Boxee’s early adopters.

Boxee released the last version of its software for Windows(s MSFT), Mac OS X(s AAPL) and Linux at the end of December, and Kippen wrote at the time in a blog post:

“We believe the future of TV will be driven by devices such as the Boxee Box, Connected TVs / Blu-Rays and 2nd screen devices such as tablets and phones. While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives. People will continue to watch a lot of video on their computer, but it is more likely to be a laptop than a home-theater PC and probably through a browser rather than downloaded software.”

The most recent PC version of Boxee won’t be supported by the company going forward. Boxee will instead concentrate all of its efforts on the CE market, where it’s been selling the Boxee Box manufactured by D-Link for more than a year. It recently released a USB dongle that brings live broadcast TV to the Boxee Box and also released an iPad app last year.

Still, some of Boxee’s early adopters are pretty upset about the company’s decision to cease support for PCs. The blog post announcing the change provoked hundreds of comments, most of them negative. Boxee may be able to win some of those users over, but many are likely going to look for other solutions. Benefiting from this could be two media center products:

  • XBMC is the open-source media center software Boxee is based on. It originated on the Xbox and focuses mainly on local media playback, but can be extended to play online video from various sources through a number of add-ons.
  • Plex is, like Boxee, also based on XBMC, but has been going a slightly different route, focusing on a client-server architecture that makes it possible to play media on many different platforms. Plex most recently introduced an app for the Kindle Fire (s amzn) as well as a personal cloud service.

As for Boxee, cutting its losses and concentrating on its CE platform should help the company keep up with an emerging market that pits it against much bigger players like Google (s GOOG) and its Google TV platform. Boxee currently has 45 employees, and the company has raised a total of a $28.5 million in funding.

Check out our video review of the recently released Boxee Live TV dongle below:

7 Responses to “Boxee officially pulls the plug on PC client”

  1. Way to completely abandon your old supporters. Half-ass your way through a BS version of your computer-based software that doesn’t work, release it with no developer support, then after you can say you released “one more version”, yank all links to download it AND the links to download the last stable version. The free version we supported, bug fixed, donated to, etc. – ultimately making you marketable – was just too much of a competitor to the Boxee Box, eh? I hope you know that the rest of the world knows this BS so you at least get the black eye you deserve.

  2. Raymond Jolly

    I completely agree with @gonzo90017. I was never impressed with Boxee. The fact that it always crashed on the PC and Mac kept me from buying the D-Link solution. I always found the Roku to be a much more simplified approach. Although there is no DVR, the interface is more elegant. The Roku box is not everything that I desire but I will say state it is stable.

  3. at this point I only used boxee to watch revision3 programs on my htpc. I can do the same in WMC. other than that I didn’t really like their apps and subscribing to rss video feeds one music blogs only worked some of the time. youtube leanback is a better substitute for mtv than boxee was.

  4. Nikato Muirhead

    Mac users should be furious. The final version of Boxee crashes on most intel mac mini’s. The program won’t even open. Boxee knew about this issue, and killed the Mac version without fixing it.

  5. gonzo90017

    And I for one am glad that Boxee for PC is no longer being developed. It was always very buggy and only worked less than half the time.

    They only time they released updates was whenever they threw an event. And of course they always made a big deal about it. (Instead of releasing timely fixes once in a while).

    Fans had been waiting for this release for a long time. And when they finally decide to release it a ton of stuff is broken and premium Apps are disabled. It’s basically only good for local file playback which Plex does a whole lot better.

    Support was a joke. You register at the forums. Post your question. And some Mod tells you, you need to file a support ticket on some other website . .

    In my opinion they got a lot of undeserved attention and praise for a buggy piece of software.

    Boxee relied way too much on the users creating apps. It was good thing at first since it brought a ton of apps. The problem was that whenever an app was broken if the creator lost interest it was abandoned. Since there was really no incentive for them I don’t blame them. So they ended up with a lot of apps but a lot of them didn’t work. Boxee didn’t bother fixing their own apps so why bother fixing someone else’s?

  6. gonzo90017

    I’m very underwhelmed with the TV Guide used in the Boxee Box. And no DVR capabilities? I for one do not believe that they are waiting for people to ask for DVR functions. I’m sure they are working on it but are a way’s away from having it work properly. They just said that to buy some time and to later say “You asked for it and we listened. We’re all about the customers!” (which we all know isn’t true)

    I’m currently using Windows Media Center with a dedicated 1.5 TB drive for recordings. I have 2 OTA dual tuners. Which allows me to record 4 shows and watch a previously recorded show all at the same time. $0 monthly fees.

    No need for Hulu Plus. And I can record CBS shows which aren’t even available on Hulu Plus.