If you don’t live in America, chances are you’ve never heard of Boxee. It’s a small company, 40 people, that have been trying, year after year, to “crack” the television market. Not with actual television sets, but with a little WiFi enabled box that you can also connect a terrestrial antenna to.
Samsung bought Boxee yesterday for roughly $30 million. Considering that The Wall Street Journal has said that Google will launch their own dedicated games console, and let’s also not forget Google’s multiple attempts to turn Google TV mainstream, why would Samsung want to take a stab at the TV space?
Let’s think about this logically. Samsung ships televisions, a lot of televisions. I have one, my girlfriend’s family has one, my mother has one. Samsung is huge. Thing is, their software is terrible. It’s grueling. I wouldn’t wish Samsung’s TV user interface on my worst enemy. So with Boxee, that problem can be solved.
There’s also the whole terrestrial thing. In Europe we have IPTV, so we don’t need to stick an antenna in our homes. I’m pretty sure several of the wealthier countries in Asia are the same. But there are still parts of the world, the U.S. included, where people have antennas on their roofs.
With Boxee, Samsung can make that UI prettier. But other than that, I don’t really know why Samsung would buy this company. Is it an admission that they lack software talent? Probably.