Microsoft announced today that the release of the most-awaited Surface Hub 2 would take place in Q2 2019. For those who are not aware, the Surface Hub is a brand of interactive whiteboards developed and marketed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Surface family. The Surface Hub is a wall-mounted or roller-stand-mounted device with either a 55-inch (140 cm) 1080p or an 84-inch (210 cm) 4K 120Hz touchscreen with multi-touch and multi-pen capabilities, running the Windows 10 operating system. The devices are targeted for businesses to use while collaborating and videoconferencing.
What is more, is that Microsoft launched a proper roadmap directing all its future launches. The next stop to the franchise would be the Surface Hub 2S which, as evidenced by its name, is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, but the user experience will remain unaltered. The display is a bit smaller, that is only a 50.5-inch display instead of the 55-inch and 84-inch versions previously offered. It’ll also feature a 4K camera, improved microphones, and support for Microsoft teams.
There will also be another new addition to the Surface family, Microsoft Surface Hub 2X and interestingly, this new member will have the ability to rotate and tile the screen. The 2X will also enable multiuser login. Microsoft Surface Hub 2 will start shipping next year, but Microsoft is doing what it calls a “phased introduction with two unique experiences.” In the second quarter of 2019, Microsoft will roll out Surface Hub 2S that runs the current Hub software and is “future-proofed” for an upgrade to the next release, Surface Hub 2X. The best part about the new launches is that if you opt for 2S you don’t have to throw away your old displays but you can upgrade to the 2X experience with the help of the replaceable processor cartridge. Once opted for the 2S, you can also make use of the new whiteboard app, use Bing to search and get all of the other benefits of the existing Surface Hub experience.
“As with all our devices, Surface Hub 2 was designed to give people a product that will help them create more, do more, and achieve more,” Microsoft says in today’s announcement. “With Surface Hub 2 we believe we have created an experience that not only people but teams will love. Surface Hub 2 breaks down barriers between teammates and will help organizations around the world to elevate themselves with a more modern and collaborative culture.”
Microsoft said earlier this year that it had sold more than 5,000 of the original Surface Hub devices to customers in 25 markets, including half of Fortune 100 companies. The original Surface, which came in 55 and 84-inch models, cost anywhere from $9,000 to $22,000. But there is no news from Microsoft about how much Surface Hub 2 devices will cost. Google’s Jamboard, providing the same experiences at a comparatively affordable price, is a hard competition for Microsoft. A lot depends on the cost-effectiveness of the new products in the competitive market.