Back for the boardroom, Microsoft outlines the future of the Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub 2
The Surface Hub 2 is still slated for an early 2019 release.

Microsoft has a vision for the executive boardroom of the future: the Surface Hub 2 — a modular 4K video wall that companies can use to spruce up conferences and usher in a new world of digital office communication. While the Surface Hub 2 is still unavailable, Microsoft has a few more ideas for the workplace, including the new Surface Hub 2S and Surface Hub 2X.

Advertising the next generation of your product offerings generally isn’t a great idea when your current generation has yet to hit the market — have you heard of the Osborne corporation? — but that isn’t stopping the folks at Microsoft. At the company’s 2018 Ignite developer conference, Microsoft announced that it would be moving forward with the Surface Hub. In a blog post released at the same time, the company described its vision.

“People loved the original Surface Hub because it brought people together to work and create, but they also asked us for a more beautiful screen, something easier to install and transport, and more seamless integration of software and apps. We’ve taken that feedback to heart and used it to work across Microsoft to transform the creation process for Surface Hub 2 and our two new offerings in the Surface Hub family – Surface Hub 2S and Surface Hub 2X.”

The new Surface Hub 2S will be a slimmed-down version of Microsoft’s standard Surface Hub 2 digital whiteboard, set to target businesses who may already have the first generation of the Surface Hub installed in their offices. Based around older software, the Surface Hub 2S will fit perfectly into office spaces in which employees are accustomed to the first generation Hub, but want a bit of a style upgrade.

On the other hand, the Surface Hub 2X will be a next-generation model, after the regular Surface Hub 2. We can’t explain why Microsoft doesn’t opt to name this new generation the Surface Hub 3, but we can say that the company is ready to add on new features. The Surface Hub 2X will support the ability to tilt and rotate the display, as well as allow multiuser log-in and compatibility with Microsoft 365.

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Hub in 2015. basically a giant, 84-inch, 4K smart TV. Instead of running an entertainment system like the TVs in your home though, the Surface Hub will instead run a special version of Windows designed to bring together all of your Microsoft devices at work.

While Microsoft plans on launching the Surface Hub 2 and 2S and in the first half of 2019, those interested in the future Surface Hub 2X won’t see a release until at least 2020. The early announcement is curious; it leads excellent insight into Microsoft’s devotion to the workplace platform, it may put some organizations off, pushing them to skip the current generation for promises of better future experiences.

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