Following its release on Linux, OS X, and Apple TV platforms quite a while ago, Boxee has finally launched a public alpha of its software for Windows users. The media center program, based on the open source XBMC project, combines Internet media with personal content and includes features such as playlists, audio visualizations, slideshows, social networking and an expanding array of third-party plugins.
The latest release introduces a handful of surprises such as official MLB.tv support, offering full access to baseball games around the country within the Boxee interface, as well as other new and upcoming integration with Digg, Tumblr and Current. Boxee also received some UI tweaks here and there, along with generally improved streaming, M4A and M4V playback, lower CPU usage on Macs, and DVD playback optimization.
The release is a major milestone for Boxee, which will now be available to a much wider user base, as it pursues its goal of getting on-demand content out of the browser and into the living room. The company is planning to release its own dedicated set-top box eventually and hopes to license its media center app to third-party hardware, software and content providers as well. For now, those with Boxee accounts can grab the latest release here, while newcomers need to register at the Boxee website first.