Boxee see the future of internet TV, and the computer which began it all, is not part of that future. In fact, their latest release v.1.5 will be the last that supports the native PC.
It seems that the future will be on mobile devices and via connected TV. The company say that the future of digital TV is changing, and of course it is. But it does seem a bit premature to isolate the PC audience as many see the PC as an essential portal into the TV online world.
Speaking about the move, Boxee said in a blog posting:-
“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.”
Boxee see the future of internet TV coming from connected devices and mobile tablets and smartphones. They say:-
“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.”
So the 1.5 release will be the last version that is available for PC, the Mac and Ubuntu. It can be downloaded via Boxee.tv until the end of January 2012.
The news has not gone down well with the PC community that supported and promoted the service from it’s early days though. A quick look at the blog posting comments shows some real anger as hundreds of loyal users show their reaction to the news.
Comments include, “And that’s the end of Boxee.” , “Thanks for keeping your promise, but I will not support a company that drops the community which gave it their support first.” , “Not impressed boxee. Another startup that was dedicated to the community has taken to making a quick penny by selling their devices. As a boxee user for years now, I am disappointed with this news.”
The good news for PC owners is that the Boxee software is open source and a modification of the XBMC media player. USers can download and modify the source code for the Boxee software release up to v. 1.5.
So the chances are that the software will continue to be developed, just not by Boxee.