The new Microsoft Surface Hub 2 clearly seeks to define itself as a collaboration tool. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) aimed at businesses in need of such tools in its announcement unveiling the new device. So small business owners must now consider whether the functionality of the latest addition to the Surface series makes it a good investment.
Microsoft Surface Hub 2
The best way to describe the Hub 2 is to call it a modular 4K+ 50.5” multi-touch display tablet smartphone hybrid you can put together with different configurations.
The question remains whether small businesses can afford it — and whether better options may exist when it is finally available in 2019. For certain segments, the benefits the Hub 2 provides will definitely be worth the investment, because it resolves many of the complexities associated with collaborative and conferencing hardware, software and infrastructure.
Resolving these complexities becomes essential as the way small businesses work continues to evolve. In a post on Microsoft’s official Windows Blogs announcing the Hub 2, Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, points out just where this evolution is headed.
Panay writes, “It’s not just that how we work is changing, it’s that where we work is changing too. The environment around us is shifting — towards open offices, huddle rooms, and team workspaces — in fact, in three years, half the global workforce will be mobile.”
Who Will Benefit from the Surface Hub 2?
The Surface Hub 2 provides a potential tool for any business seeking to bring its team together in the most efficient way possible by helping members collaborate with less effort.
According to Microsoft, the new device was designed from the ground up to be used by teams. The 50.5″ display seems suited for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365 and Windows 10.
With the addition of the 4K cameras, which rotate with the device, integrated speakers, and far-field mic arrays, entire teams can fully participate in the conferences and collaborations taking place.
The Surface Hub 2 is also modular, so you can use a single device with rolling stands to take it anywhere, or add up to four screens for a feature Microsoft calls Tiling. By Tiling each monitor together into one large unit, users can simultaneously display Microsoft Whiteboard, PowerBI, PowerPoint, a full view video call and another type of content.
Microsoft is going to test Surface Hub 2 in 2018 with select commercial customers, making it available for purchase sometime in 2019.