P2P video service Joost is finally dropping its invitation-only status to go public with its new 1.0 beta release, featuring an overhauled user interface, a retooled navigation system and an open API for third-party widget development.

Created by the founders of Skype, Joost was launched with the goal of offering ad-supported television content over the Internet, but through a distributed streaming model instead of relying on a central server. Official content providers include CBS, Viacom, and CNN who are now broadcasting some of their shows through Joost. But even though the service is free, it faces an uphill battle against rival paid services due to its still limited content selection.

The company hopes its public debut will net them between two and three million users by year's end. If you haven't checked Joost out yet, the new 1.0 beta is now available for Windows XP / Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.