Boxee was supposed to sell boxes that would change the way we watched sitcoms forever, but it didn't quite work out. Very few people bought the boxes, and the company sold itself for a (relative) pittance to Samsung. That sucks for Boxee—and it sure sucks for its customers.
The $30 million "exit"—that's Valleyspeak for jumping out of the frying pan and into money—was paltry compared to the cash investors had pumped into the company before it failed. Investors look for big returns, and Boxee didn't deliver. What Boxee did deliver is this disconcerting email to anyone who'd already shelled out for its services:
————— Forwarded message —————
From: "Team Boxee" <email@example.com>
Date: Jul 6, 2013 9:37 AM
Subject: Boxee team to join Samsung
We’re pleased to announce that the Boxee team will be joining Samsung.
Samsung is the #1 consumer electronics company in the world. They produce all of the screens we watch entertainment on - TVs, laptops, phones, and tablets. We’re excited to collaborate with Samsung on how each of these devices can deliver a more integrated TV experience.
We’re working behind the scenes to ensure there’s minimal impact to your Boxee TV during this process. However, the beta Cloud DVR functionality we provided to certain Boxee TV users will be discontinued on July 10th. You will not have access to your existing recordings after that date.
We want to thank you for being a part of our journey.
It's hard to reconcile "minimal impact" with discontinuing one of the main functions of the thing you paid for, but I guess that's why they call it an exit. So long, suckers.