Trying to collaborate during meetings remotely can be a huge frustration. Participants can feel left out, unheard, and disjointed.
But Microsoft may have a solution for conference room woes, the Microsoft Surface Hub.
Microsoft first unveiled the Surface Hub, the company’s new large-screen collaboration device, at the Windows 10 event back in January. While the demo of the 84-inch touchscreen device was impressive, there was no information on availability or price.
But on Wednesday, Microsoft announced that the Surface Hub is coming.
The Microsoft Surface Hub will be available for pre-order in 24 countries starting July 1. There are two versions available, a 55-inch for $6,999 and larger and more expensive 84-inch for $19,999.
Rather than selling the Microsoft Surface Hub directly, they have opted to work with “a set of strategic partners” to deploy the device. The company says this is to make it easier on businesses to integrate Surface Hub into their existing conference rooms and IT environments. It’s unclear what additional integration fees may be included by these partners.
The Microsoft Surface Hub is certainly not the most affordable device available. With a price tag of nearly $20,000 for the largest model, it’s not an option every business will be able to purchase. But it does offer a more all-in-one solution for collaboration.
The Microsoft Surface Hub is a completely cloud-connected Windows 10 device. The device has built in WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and a variety of ports so multiple devices can share and connect to the screen.
It can also use Skype for Business, Office, OneNote, and Universal Windows Apps to optimize collaboration for groups. In addition, the 4K touchscreen is built for both ink and touch. Microsoft claims the screen can detect up to 100 points of multi-touch and up to 3 simultaneous pen inputs.
In an official release in the Microsoft News Center, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices explains:
“While there are a number of devices designed to improve our productivity as individuals, there has yet to be a device that is truly optimized for a group of people to use together — designed not just for what we need to do, but how we want to work.”
The Microsoft Surface Hub may be available for pre-order starting July 1 but won’t begin shipping until some time in September.
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This may be useful for companies and teachers. It may even change the way computers are used to teach. Now, you can navigate the screen through the screen which is neat.
I agree, though I think the price point will have to come down before it sees any wide spread use.