Following a messy supply shortage of its 55-inch Surface Hub at the beginning of last month, it came to no one’s surprise when Microsoft decided to delay the wall-mounted touch-screen device, originally planned for July and then September. Now, the Redmond-based tech corporation has determined a new release date for the $7,000-plus productivity machine: Jan. 1, 2016, according to ZDNet.
The Surface Hub was revealed as a collaborative conferencing tool in January of this year at Microsoft’s Windows 10-centric press event. It was discussed once again at the company’s Build developers conference back in April, where Microsoft incentivized development on the platform with a $25,000 grant issued to competitive researchers. This led into June when Microsoft initially started taking preorders for both the 55- and 84-inch variants of the its Surface Hub devices, both sporting Intel processors and promising an initial ship date of July 1. Suffice to say, it didn’t happen.
Microsoft says that it’s “tuning” its manufacturing process in preparation for “production at [a] broader scale.” This requires an alteration to its release schedule to “ensure we deliver a great customer experience and set our partners up for success.” Because of this, a roll-out date of Sept. 1 is simply not possible.
Microsoft Partner Collaboration Solutions CTO Angela Hlavka explains that the company had dealt with unexpectedly “significant demand” after the press release sent out in July. This, of course, was the cause of the second delay we’re reporting on now.
At an estimated retail price of $7,000 for the 55-inch, Intel i5-powered model, or $20,000 for the 84-inch, i7 powered rig, it’s clear that the Surface Hub was conceived with businesses in mind. The Hub brings with it custom flavors of Windows 10, OneNote, Office, and Skype for business, all preinstalled and ready to go out of the box. Numerous multitouch camera outputs and digital ink-based collaboration systems are also notable inclusions.