Have Boxee Shot Themselves in the Foot by Turning their Back on the Home Computer?
Boxee sees the way forward as internet TV, and the PC, which started everything, is not a part of that way forward. Boxee’s most recent release, v.1.5, is going to be the final one that supports the local PC.
Growing Past the PC
This 1.5 release will be the last version of Boxee for PC/Mac/Ubuntu. It will be available on Boxee.tv through the end of January.
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.
To our computer users… to those who have come out to our NYC and SF meetups, talked with us at Engadget, GDGT, and Giz Gallery events, or enjoyed Austin BBQ with us during SxSW, or simply messaged with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our forums… thank you for all your support – we would not be where we are today without you. But we can’t stay here.
We are excited about the upcoming release of Boxee Live TV and our new product roadmap for 2012. If you are a current Boxee user on a computer we hope that you will enjoy 1.5 and maybe when you are ready to retire that good ol’ HTPC/Mac Mini you will decide to get a Boxee Box.
It would appear that the future is going to be on mobile devices and by way of connected TV. The organization points out that the way forward for digital TV is beginning to change, and obviously it is. However, it does seem to be a little early to isolate the PC viewers since many view the PC as an important portal into the television online world.
In a blog posting, Boxee stated “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 feels that the future of internet TV will come from mobile smartphones and tablets, as well as connected devices. It says “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.”
Therefore the v.1.5 release is going to be the final version that is available for the PC, Ubuntu and the Mac. It is available for download until the end of January 2012.
Are they shooting themselves in the foot? This feels like a move to consolidate, simplify their product offering and potentially reduce costs by cutting support for the early adopters perpared to configure and build HTPC systems. Basically, those of us who are prepared to trial more or less unproven software and help give it the limelight it deserves. Whilst we welcome the development of simpler and better mechanisms (software, hardware, services) that can deliver the products that the average consumer desires, should it be at the expense of those who are prepared to put the effort in and experiment? Boxee think that we’ve reached the point of mainstream consumption and therefore we are no longer relevant. Here at eHomeUpgrade we’re not so sure.
Tags: Boxee, Internet TV, Mobile Devices, Smartphone, Web Tablet
Filed in: Digital Media Servers, Entertainment PCs, Streaming Media Devices