Microsoft's Surface Hub to Hit Conference Rooms in September
Preorders for the company's super-sized touch-enabled digital whiteboard and video conferencing hardware kick off on July 1.One of the biggest surprises at the Microsoft Windows 10 event on Jan. 21 was Surface Hub, a massive 84-inch, Windows-powered 4K touch-screen with video conferencing and whiteboard technology. Today, the company revealed when businesses can begin wall-mounting the device in their meeting rooms. Microsoft will begin taking orders on July 1, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Devices Group, said in a June 10 announcement. Shipments are set to begin in September in 24 markets, including the United States and the United Kingdom, along with Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. Prices start at $6,999 for a 55-inch model designed for "huddle spaces," said Angiulo. The 84-inch model carries a hefty price tag to match. The massive touch- and stylus-enabled display costs $19,999. Making the Surface Hub's price easier to swallow, Angiulo asserted that the all-in-one unit tightly integrates various productivity solutions and can effectively replace a bevy of stand-alone conference room devices.
"In an average conference room, Surface Hub replaces a number of disparate tools and technologies, including the audio-video conferencing system, display, projector, wireless receiver, and the analog or digital whiteboard at a lower upfront cost," Angiulo said. "And when you look at ongoing management costs, the story gets even stronger. Rather than having to manage multiple components separately, as a Windows 10 device Surface Hub can be easily and centrally managed by IT."