Microsoft Goes Back to the Drawing Board with the Surface Hub 2

Surface Hub 2

Some companies will be able to try the Surface Hub 2 this year, but it won't be more widely available until next year. It comes with 4K cameras, integrated speakers, and far-field mic arrays for a premium video conferencing experience, too.

Microsoft is also enabling users to tile up to four displays, which can be used in portrait or landscape view to enable an extended view.

Microsoft suggests they've brought the original Surface Hub to more than 5000 customers across 25 markets. We were told that this is to render the new Surface Hub into a more portable device that's easier to move.

Microsoft isn't yet disclosing pricing, but Seiler said it would be "in line with similar competitive devices".

According to the company, the design inspiration for Surface Hub 2 was taking whiteboard-enabled collaboration beyond the conference room and enhancing productivity for different kinds of users.

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Of course, it was designed with Microsoft apps in mind, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365 and Windows 10 - it's not clear how other platforms will work beyond simply Skyping in. So it'll look and act like one massive Surface tablet.

The Surface Hub 2 won't be battery-powered, though Microsoft's not saying exactly what technology will power it. When mounted on a wall, up to four Surface Hub 2s can be daisy-chained, allowing them to function separately, or project a cohesive picture that straddles more than one Surface Hub 2.

Today, I'm excited to introduce that device, the next generation - Surface Hub 2. While we are having a video call with someone, we do not have to shrink their face, but instead, use the full capacity of the Surface Hub 2. But as Microsoft's concept of the workplace has evolved, the Surface Hub 2 will be a key component of what Microsoft now calls the "intelligent edge", a catch-all term for the PCs, phones, and other devices that will interface with the "intelligent cloud" of Microsoft's apps and services, Day said. Using multi-user sign in, multiple people can authenticate in the same Surface Hub 2 workspace, allowing them to simultaneously access their documents and ideas, merging them with the ideas of their teammates - and making collaboration as natural as meeting at a whiteboard.

When I asked Seiler more about the version of Windows 10 that will power Surface Hub 2, she said "Windows 10 is what it's built on", and wouldn't go beyond that. More will be coming soon, and you can check out more on Surface Hub 2 by checking here.

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