A new version of the beloved media-player software Boxee is coming late January says the Boxee team on their blog. Included in the version 1.5 update are improved navigation across the board and the ability to watch live TV with the upcoming Boxee TV Tuner device. The good news quickly took a sharp turn when Boxee announced that their focus will be shifting away from the Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu versions of Boxee and putting all their efforts towards the Boxee Box and other dedicated Boxee devices.

The decision to cut off ties with PC users wasn’t necessarily easy for the team. Rather, it seems the decision wasn’t really up to them but instead due to “extensive DRM and certification requirements” from premium services like Netflix and Pandora. Users who decide to continue using Boxee will see the end of updates after version 1.5 hits the Boxee servers. From the 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.

From then on, the Boxee team says they’re excited about the new Boxee Live TV and their “new product roadmap for 2012″.


Check out the updated menus and features inside Boxee 1.5.

It’ll be interesting to see what follows this major change to the Boxee platform. PC users were the first to download, test, and use Boxee, and it’s likely Boxee would have gone nowhere had they went straight to the Boxee + dedicated devices approach. I suspect (hope, really) we’ll be seeing a successor to the Boxee Box sometime soon given that the team now has more time to focus on dedicated devices.