weve been in closed alpha for a long time. after Jan 8th are going to open up the alpha, and work diligently on getting the beta out. the number of users who signed up for the alpha has overwhelmed us (over 150,000), and went well beyond our original expectations.
we get asked frequently about why we keep it closed, especially given the fact that it is open-source. the answer is that the product is still very much alpha, and we wanted to scale our servers gradually. but the demand is overwhelming and we dont want to have users wait for months for their invites, so we decided to open the Jan 8th release of Mac and Ubuntu to everyone.
By December 25th Boxee intends to have the entire backlog of invites cleared (with the exception of Windows users).