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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday May 16 2018, @09:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-new-hubby dept.

Microsoft's Surface Hub 2 is designed for an office of the future

Microsoft is unveiling the next-generation of its giant conference room displays today: Surface Hub 2. While the original Surface Hub shipped in 2016 with 1080p 55-inch and 4K 84-inch options, the Surface Hub 2 will use a 50.5-inch display with a greater than 4K resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio with extremely thin bezels. That's the same ratio as all other Surface products, and Microsoft has clearly picked this to compliment the fact its giant display now rotates to a portrait position.

[...] While it's still based on Windows 10, Microsoft is working on a new dynamic collaboration scenario that will allow multiple people to walk up to the Surface Hub 2, log into the device using the built-in fingerprint reader and then each pull their own work into a single collaborative document. Most of the software will be optimized for Microsoft Teams, and far-field microphones and 4K cameras will allow you to make video calls in portrait mode that make it feel like you're standing next to a colleague.

[...] Microsoft says pricing will be in line with similar competitive devices, which could mean we'll see a more aggressive price point to counter Google's own digital whiteboard. Microsoft has already sold Surface Hubs to more than 5,000 businesses in 25 countries. More than half of Fortune 100 companies already own a Surface Hub, and it's the most popular Surface device for enterprise customers. By simplifying to a single display size (50.5-inch) with the Surface Hub 2, the hardware should be easier to manufacture. Microsoft has struggled to manufacture Surface Hub devices to meet demand, and the company closed its US manufacturing plant last year, presumably to cut costs and speed up production elsewhere.

Related: Google's "Jamboard" Takes on the Giant Touchscreen Workplace Niche

Original Submission

Related Stories

Google's "Jamboard" Takes on the Giant Touchscreen Workplace Niche 14 comments

Google has announced Jamboard, a 55-inch 4K touchscreen not unlike Microsoft's Surface Hub. In fact, Microsoft's version of the interactive whiteboard concept comes in two sizes - 84 inches (2160p) and 55 inches (1080p):

Tools like handwriting and shape help streamline the process and worked quite well in my own hands-on time with the product. The board also has 16 levels of pressure sensitive touch and nice little animations that bring small things like erasing to life, as you watch the text flake and fall off the display. The system runs on a highly specialized version of Android that features a built in browser and Google Maps among other features, along with opening it up to potential third-party apps. It also has Google Cast built in, so you can also use it as a big video display, complete with speakers that face down into the magnetic tray that holds the styli and eraser. The speakers, from what I heard aren't great, but they're plenty loud and will do the trick with teleconferencing audio. You can also just use the built-in Bluetooth to run it all through a speaker.

[...] All of the collaboration occurs in real-time, making it possible to monitor the board on a mobile device with minimal latency. And once a project is finished, it can be shared with the team as a PNG or PDF. [...] The board can be mounted to a wall or users can choose to buy the optional stand. All said, it should run less than $6,000 when it launches next year.

Original Submission

Microsoft Will Offer Upgradeable Surface Hub 2 in 2019 6 comments

Microsoft plans to release a 50-inch version of Surface Hub in 2019 that can be upgraded the following year by using a removable "processor cartridge":

Microsoft is unveiling hardware changes to its Surface Hub 2 today. The software giant first unveiled its 50-inch display earlier this year, with a promise of a 2019 release. While the hardware will now be released in Q2 of 2019, many of the cool new software features will require a hardware and software update set to launch in 2020.

Microsoft is planning to use removable processor cartridges in its Surface Hub 2S product that launches next year, and users will be able to purchase an upgrade cartridge to the Surface Hub 2X in 2020. The cartridges slot into the back of the Surface Hub 2 hardware and can be upgraded or serviced. Microsoft's hardware upgrades sound similar to Samsung's previous efforts with smart TVs that you could upgrade each year with an "evolution kit" that updated the processor.

Also at Ars Technica, Engadget, and The Register.

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16 2018, @09:49AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16 2018, @09:49AM (#680339)

    A giant conference-room display?

    Ordinary conference-room displays tend to be projectors. 50 inches is pretty tiny in comparison.

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday May 16 2018, @04:17PM (2 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday May 16 2018, @04:17PM (#680430)

      You buy several of them, you see. Ignore the per-unit cost which is.... what, exactly? And compared to a smartboard display is what?

      Make America Seem Huge Under Great And Nebulous Aims. MASHUGANA.
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday May 16 2018, @04:34PM (3 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday May 16 2018, @04:34PM (#680437)

      We use a 65" 4K screen. I've seen 80" 4K screens used a few times. Unless it's a big room, projectors are no longer worth the hassle.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday May 16 2018, @05:28PM

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday May 16 2018, @05:28PM (#680456) Journal []

        The 4K projectors seem to be expensive, over $1,000 still, but that's comparable to 4K TVs that aren't cheap and small.

        I know someone who uses a (much lower res) projector instead of a TV. They used to have a pull-out screen for it, but now they just use a white wall. I'd say it's potentially less of a hassle depending on your requirements.

        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday May 16 2018, @08:25PM (1 child)

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday May 16 2018, @08:25PM (#680506)

        It's nice to be able to see the screen without dimming the lights.

        (Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft as a PFE, therefore my opinion is invalid.)

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday May 16 2018, @11:13PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday May 16 2018, @11:13PM (#680542)

          Good contrast, fast response time, perfect focus, ability to stand in front without blocking, no fan noise, no bulb life issues, chromecast, cheap, easy to install and emergency-patch into ... Unless you have a room over 24.753' deep, LED TV wins over projector.

          BUT ... We get the work done with a regular desktop (Win/Lin/Mac, depending on who's connected), and the few features we miss are not worth the giant premium from Google/MS products. And with our vendor-specific design tools, I'm not sure how we would even work on an all-in-one without constant install/licensing issues. Do these things offer some of the touchscreen/sharing benefits if you use them as a monitor ? That'd be a value-add over grabbing a 65" at Costco.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @09:34AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @09:34AM (#680669)

    Microsoft has struggled to manufacture Surface Hub devices to meet demand

    Microsoft struggled to manufacture Lumia devices to 'meet demand' as well - but that didn't actually mean there was any demand for them in the first place.

    It's the old economic concept of artificial scarcity. 'Sold Out' is technically not an untruth even if they only manufactured one, and the chairman bought it himself.