Microsoft’s affinity for oversized touchscreens continues, much to the benefit of creative offices everywhere.
The Redmond giant recently unveiled the Surface Hub 2. We’ll tell you everything you’ll want to know about the digital whiteboard.
Coming in 2019
The first generation of Microsoft’s interactive display came out on June 1st of 2015. Three years later, the company announced the arrival of its 2nd iteration. According to the official press release, the Surface Hub 2 will be hitting the shelves in 2019.
A Potential Commercial Success
The latest Surface Hub looks like it comes into the market with momentum going its way. Based on reports, the original Surface Hub may be the most popular Surface device for enterprise customers. The fact is that more than half of Fortune 100 companies already own a Surface Hub. Microsoft has even sold the device to more than 5,000 businesses in 25 countries.
Microsoft struggled to keep up with the demand, though. It even had to resort to drastic measures to speed up the Surface Hub’s production. With the company resolving production concerns, it looks like Surface Hub 2 would be easier to manufacture. It could potentially be an even bigger commercial success than its predecessor.
At first glance, the Surface Hub 2 looks stunning. Beneath the sleek exterior is where it impresses more, though. It will have a 50.5-inch display with a greater-than-4K resolution, which has 3:2 aspect ratio. It has extremely thin bezels and new portrait orientation, too. A clever mechanism (similar to the Surface Book’s muscle wire lock) is also built into the device to allow the giant display to rotate to a portrait position.
Lightweight and versatile, the digital whiteboard is mobile enough to be moved and used throughout the office. No exact dimensions or weight has been announced yet, though. Even so, Microsoft is reportedly producing stands and wall mounts that allow four Surface Hub 2s to be mounted together. They can even be linked as multiple monitors so each device can show different content side-by-side in either portrait or landscape orientation.
It’s not just the hardware that gets an upgrade on the Surface Hub 2. The software running the device has received a boost, too. While it’s still based on Windows 10, Microsoft is working on a dynamic collaboration that lets teams harness the power of Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Microsoft Whiteboard, and the intelligent cloud on the multi-touch display.
The Surface Hub 2’s software is optimized for Microsoft Teams. It’s 4K, removable camera and far-field microphones will also allow groups to make more engaging video calls in portrait mode.
Early Adopter Program
Production delays have been the biggest complaint people have against the original Surface Hub. To keep the new Surface Hub from suffering the same criticism, Microsoft is launching an early adopter program later this year. In other words, interested enterprises will get a chance to test the Surface Hub 2 sooner.
Microsoft may be far ahead of the competition in the digital whiteboard market. Sure, Google’s Jamboard turned heads last year, but that’s mainly because of its competitive price point. Its lack of office suite integration and less-than-slick design haven’t impressed experts all that much.
With Microsoft saying that the pricing for the new Surface Hub 2 will be similarly competitive, it won’t be long before the tech giant will dominate the niche once more.