By: Gigaom
January 31, 2012 at 15:28 PM EST
Boxee officially pulls the plug on PC client
Boxee is following through with its announcement to remove the Mac, Windows and Linux versions of its client from its website. PC users have till the end of Tuesday to download the latest version, but many might opt to check out a competitor instead.

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 Tuesday to fully concentrate on the Boxee Box.

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

Boxee released the last version of its software for Windows, Mac OS X 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 that 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 as well as a personal cloud service.

As for Boxee, cutting its losses and concentrating on its CE platform should help the company to keep up with an emerging market that pits it against much bigger players like Google 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:


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