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Microsoft Surface Hub 2 may actually make videoconferencing cool

15 May 2018

The first-generation Surface Hub is available in both 55-inch and 84-inch versions, while the Surface Hub 2 features a 50.5-inch touch screen display (no larger size will be offered, at least initially). The device will enable businesses to take advantage of all Microsoft's core business applications such as Teams, Microsft Whiteboard, Office 365 and to name a few with the power of Windows 10. The Surface chief says the hub is for a "new culture of work" and is "designed to be used by Teams to get people out of their seats".

Microsoft is taking the wraps off the next-gen Surface Hub, the Surface Hub 2.

"Tiling is one of my favorite features on Surface Hub 2". This apparently brings it in line with Microsoft's Surface laptops and tablets, which the company says were created to give the look and feel of a piece of paper.

Time will tell if the Surface Hub 2 can replicate the success of the original Surface Hub, which shipped to 5,000 customers across 25 markets previous year, according to Microsoft.

"We are still building the device", said Robin Seiler, General Manager of Hardware Engineering for Surface Hub, in a conversation I had with her yesterday.

This is accomplished through the use of 4K cameras that rotate with the device, integrated speakers, and far field microphone arrays that would allow anyone in the room to be picked up the mic when speaking.

But the interesting thing with the Surface Hub 2 is that multiple displays can be connected together to make a single wall of slick screens, thanks to a removable webcam. This will also allow users to share and work on different apps side-by-side.

The quick rotation comes via a new locking mechanism Microsoft has developed, while the company has also worked with Steelcase to create rolling stands and mounts for the Surface Hub 2. Imagine how much your team could get done being able to work simultaneously across Microsoft Whiteboard, PowerBI, PowerPoint, and a full view video call. Microsoft says it has sold over 5000 of the original Surface Hub across 24 markets and believes the more affordable Surface Hub 2 will be an even bigger success.

Microsoft hasn't shared the exact specs or the release date but has promised its availability in 2019.

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

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 may actually make videoconferencing cool