Why over complicate things, if they just had the N-series UPnP friendly and it was able to mount network shares like the PhotoBridge then we would be set for the most part.
To be honest, I don't know much about how all this works, just reporting what I read... but it's possible that it's easier for these services to start a channel than to wait for Roku to make changes to allow them same.
But I must admit that a XBMC type port (read eye-candy) would be nice though. Is Boxee some sort of spin off of the XBMC code? For that matter, perhaps even Boxee being ported (which I doubt since they now sell hardware (with D-Link)).
Boxee is based on XBMC.
Now, I thought Orb let you stream your local content to the outside world (e.g. able to access your music and pictures from your house at work)
It does, but it also lets you stream your content to devices on your network.
and PlayOn was to watch shows?
According to their site, "PlayOn also enables you to stream your personal videos, photos and music from your PC to your Home Entertainment Center. "