Microsoft Unveils Gorgeous New Surface Hub 2

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft 365, Hardware, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface with 46 Comments

Microsoft is taking the wraps off the next-gen Surface Hub, the Surface Hub 2. The company today unveiled the new generation of its interactive whiteboard, available next year.

Redmond isn’t revealing many technical details about the new Surface Hub 2 as of yet, but the essential details are being disclosed today — including our first ever look at the device. Microsoft’s new Surface Hub 2’s design is a huge leap forward from the first-gen Surface Hub, and it looks absolutely beautiful.

Coming in at 50.5-inch with a 4K+ display, the new Surface Hub 2 boasts a beautiful design with tiny bezels that offer an immersive collaboration experience. It comes with 4K cameras, integrated speakers, and far-field mic arrays for a premium video conferencing experience, too. The device’s best feature, however, is screen rotation. Yes.

And it’s not just regular screen rotation. Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 features Dynamic Rotation, which lets users rotate the device to portrait or landscape for the best view and usability, and the rotating experience is simply beautiful. Take a look:

Microsoft’s also introducing a new “tiling” experience with the Surface Hub 2. Companies can line up four Surface Hub 2s together to get an incredibly beautiful experience across all the Surface Hub 2s. In fact, some of the built-in apps like Microsoft Whiteboard, PowerBI, PowerPoint, and video calling will make use of the tiling experience by using all the four Surface Hub 2s at the same time.

Windows 10 on the Surface Hub 2 is also getting a massive update from the looks of things. Microsoft isn’t officially detailing any of the software updates, but the Surface Hub 2’s introduction video shows off a big new software update for the next-gen Surface Hub. The new Surface Hub software will support multi-user sign in, include native Microsoft Teams integration, and more.

The updated software is also designed with Microsoft’s Fluent Design, so it already looks much better than the original Surface Hub’s software. Microsoft’s bringing Windows Timeline to the Surface Hub 2 software as well, so users will be able to easily access their files and apps from other devices instantly right from the home screen on the Surface Hub 2. Microsoft says it will bring as much Surface Hub 2 software functionality as is possible to the previous generation Hubs.

Microsoft isn’t sharing pricing and exact availability details for the new Surface Hub 2 just yet. The company will start testing the Surface Hub 2 with some of its commercial customers this year, and it will be generally available next year. Interested businesses and customers can find out more about the device here. We were told to expect more information about Surface Hub 2 in late summer/early fall. That sounds a lot like the Microsoft Ignite timeframe doesn’t it?

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Comments (46)

46 responses to “Microsoft Unveils Gorgeous New Surface Hub 2”

  1. Rob_Wade

    <sigh> I just can't get excited over this. How many of the original Surface Hubs have I seen in the wild? One. How many of these do I expect to see? Probably not more than that. Although a price wasn't mentioned, you can bet it will be more expensive than the original. Regular consumers don't care because it's such a special use-case and likely far outside the average person's budget. Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to have a couple of three of those things for my home. But I can't even justify updating my 2 year old TV to a 4K unit (I'd have to replace my satellite boxes AND Xbox One in order to actually take advantage of the 4K), so there's no universe where a Surface Hub is part of our household.

    • JudaZuk

      ply to Rob_Wade:

      Well do you work in a large company with multiple meeting rooms with expensive video conferencing systems? .. If you don't it is not so strange you have never seen one, but that does not change the fact that the Surface Hub have sold extremely well

      It is not a consumer product and never claimed to be.

  2. skramer49

    The date on the Hub at the end of the video said June 18?????

  3. Tony Barrett

    The demo's look cool, but the Surface Hub has a tiny, tiny potential audience. I mean really small, and those things are very, very expensive. If you look past the wow factor, people in meetings have been using whiteboards and schools have used interactive models for years. They get the job done, they're not gimmicky, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Besides, as is usual, these are not real world demos, just mock-ups with no product to back it up.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to ghostrider:

      And we already have a pad of paper and pencils and an adding machine and a typewriter. We don't need them newfangled computer things. And get off of my lawn.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to ghostrider:

      “The demo's look cool, but the Surface Hub has a tiny, tiny potential audience. I mean really small, and those things are very, very expensive.”

      The phone in your pocket has vastly more power than decades-ago mainframes that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and fill entire floors of office buildings.

      Now you can get it for hundreds of dollars.

      Microsoft doesn’t expect theses to be in everyone’s homes in 2019.

    • Jules Wombat

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Except for the hundreds of millions and millions of businesses. Duh.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        According to Small Business Administration there are 28 million small businesss (less than 500 employees) and 52% are homebased businesses, 89% have less than 20 employees, and 22 million are individually operated without any employees. Less than 20,000 businesses employ more than 500.

        So in theory it's a few million rather than hundreds of millions. Most likely it’s a few thousand.

  4. imh64

    I want one so much !!

  5. chrisrut

    Hmmm. Thinking about it… a bunch of these stitched together would make a damn fine "living blackboard" at the front of a classroom - it's what kids like to do all day anyway - stare at screens, that is.

  6. SvenJ

    Microsoft isn’t sharing pricing ... As the saying goes, if you have to ask.......

    Does look great though.

  7. Alain Sylvestre

    Wow. We have to admit. The signature of their demo video look amazing since the debut of the "surface" model. They now have nothing to be ashame in comparaison from APple.

  8. Angusmatheson

    Where was this during build? In 3 hours and 40 minutes on Monday and 1 1/2 hours on never came up. Didn’t have time? It fits perfectly with the future of Microsoft, why not show it off - as a door to the intelligent cloud. I do not understand releasing this the week after is truly baffeling. It looks so cool why demo it off while the world is watching (unless it isnt ready now, if not ready why announce it at all?)

    • RR

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      Maybe they raced to get it for build but could not? Maybe the 3 hours 40 minutes people have complained about was supposed to be in part this, and when they couldn't assure themselves that they would be 100% sure of anything they presented about it, they filled it in with other stuff? And so they just looked for the next opportunity to make a statement.

      Even this isnt a full product launch, just sending out video and blog, so it does feel like they got a bit behind, but feel they have to release some notice at this time to meet some target where things need to happen now, so that their 2019 rollout is on track. These are new things they are creating you know, it isn't that easy to do that and also control the clock completely ...

    • JudaZuk

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      It most likely did not come up as it has nothing to do with developers.

      Build is a show for developers, not for consumers or a place to reveal hardware unless that hardware in some way bring a brand new area to explore for developers and impact them directly.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to JudaZuk:

        Absolutely. Additionally with a product not shipping until 2019 you can bet the APIs are not locked enough yet. Getting developers started this early would either mean they'd have to tell developers to do rewrites as things change or tie themselves to the artificial backward compatibility of early beta code designs.

  9. Angusmatheson

    This is a giant surface studio. I wonder would most people rather have a giant iPad? I get that businesses might want legacy software. But does, or in a year will, Windows 10 have enough touch first software to allow a user to ditch their keyboard and Mouse and just touch that beautiful display. I haven’t used the surface studio for more than 1/2 hour - can it be used without a mouse and keyboard? If there isn’t going to be touch first software - like there is for the iOS and Android now - will it really be useful beyond what a projected display from a laptop would be?

  10. Dan Francis

    I think the smooth rotating is too good to be true. I hope it makes it to production but that is so much logic and processing to do really fast just to make it look cool for the 2 seconds it takes to rotate.

  11. MikeGalos

    Now that is what you get after the Surface team gets a chance to do the full system rather than just adding new software to the existing Perceptive Pixel displays.

    Nice to see innovation happening in the industry rather than just "This year's revolutionary new product line is 2mm thinner and 4.3g lighter than we've ever made before and we've added South Seas Sapphire as a new color choice for the case".

  12. mmcpher

    Well if you buy four and line them up side by side, you won't be able to rotate them. That stinks. Just kidding. They look sensational. I know it's just a video, but the screen sharing across Surfaces and Hubs is also impressive. In a late sequence in the promo, one of the Hubs displays June 18 very prominently. Wouldn't it be nice?

  13. ReijMan

    I hope they ship worldwide and produce enough of them this time around.

  14. Davor Radman

    Who is this for?

    • Jhambi

      In reply to Markiz von Schnitzel:

      Exactly.. What does this do that a regular whiteboard or projector doesnt ? This is flashy sure. But "collaboration" can be done with a laptop in a conference room with a whiteboard/projector just as well.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to Jhambi:

        “But "collaboration" can be done with a laptop in a conference room with a whiteboard/projector just as well.”

        Not “just as well”. Ever tried to have an 8 person team do a code review around a laptop screen?

        Projectors are usually irritating to setup and configure, particularly with modern laptops (maybe not an issue in the Windows world).

        Currently, this is usually done via Apple TV or a Chromecast hooked up to an HDTV. This is gorgeous for the teams that can make use of it.

        Honestly, I’d love one for my home office. But it will probably be out of reasonable price range for that.

      • JudaZuk

        In reply to Jhambi:

        Easy ... you have a whiteboard in Dubai, I have a Whiteboard in Washington, Bobby have a whiteboard in Mumbai, Sarah have a whiteboard in Pretoria, Lisa have a whiteboard in Berlin.. ..

        I can not see your whiteboard.. or your projector.. I can not draw on your whiteboard.. now what do we do?? if there was only a way to see all screens , see all people i'm talking to and make edits on the fly in a document all can see.

        A whiteboard an a projector is all well and good, if you have a few people in the same office..the world does not look like that anymore though for most businesses.

        • MikeGalos

          In reply to JudaZuk:

          Or ... you have a whiteboard in New York, I have a Whiteboard in Los Angeles, Bobby has a whiteboard in Houston, Sarah has a whiteboard in Chicago, Lisa has a whiteboard in Miami...

          Or even … you have a whiteboard in Seattle's Capital Hill neighborhood, I have a Whiteboard in Bellevue, Bobby has a whiteboard in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, Sarah has a whiteboard in Kent, Lisa has a whiteboard in Seattle's Madison Valley neighborhood...

          You don't even need to be multinational. Any corporation with multiple facilities in the same metropolitan area can justify saving on travel time and cost. Even if don't have to pay for planes and hotels you waste a lot of money having employees sitting in traffic losing hours of time per week.

    • JudaZuk

      In reply to Markiz von Schnitzel:

      Multimillion/billion dollar global companies

  15. Ugur

    That now, yes, that is beautiful!

    In a few years we may look back at this and wonder how come screen content was not always adapting to the screen orientation like this before this.

    Right now, right now it just looks sweet on an almost surreal level of beauty and harmony of smoothness.

    I know this will likely be in a price range above what i would pay for my home office screen (more likely in price range for bigger companies using it in their conference/presentation rooms), but man is it teasing.

    If the screen rotation adoption actually works that smoothly all around, i can't wait for it to trickle down to smaller form factors, too.

  16. nbplopes

    This is a lovely realistic practical mockup.

    MS quite often makes impressive display of tech yet to be released. The reality both in price and practice is quite different unlike the competition. It happened with Hololens, Surface Studio, SP3 ...

    No hands on journalism ... nothing.

    I wonder why they decided to come out with it now and in this way? Can someone explain why?

    Do do they have a contender in this market that feel the need to stop down?

    • WmPitcher

      In reply to nbplopes:

      If they are going to start testing it with select customers, they want to announce it themselves rather than it being discovered in the wild.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to WmPitcher:

        That makes more sense. But I guess MS has the perfect environment to test this thing better than any customer. It’s one of those things that really fit their workflow.

        I am just suspicious if it is related with how Build went. Especially the keynote.

        I guess we will never know.

        • MikeGalos

          In reply to nbplopes:

          While Microsoft is a great environment for testing things like Surface Hub, Microsoft always makes a very conscious effort to fight the assumption that the way they do things is the way customers work. That's one of the reasons for the long Insider programs. It's not just for testing in the myriad of configurations that you get with an open ecosystem but to avoid the "it works for us so if it doesn't work for you then you're doing it wrong" mindset.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to nbplopes:

      Because the corporations who typically purchase these high end conferencing systems do so as part of a Conference Room Remodel Plan for multiple conference rooms in multiple facilities that takes a year or two to go from proposal through design, hiring contractors, revising specs with multiple departments and then, finally doing build-out.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        So this is when more or less Corporation remodel their conference rooms. Given and take spring time, around May.

        I see this kind of tech being useful from schools, startups, teams of 3 to 5 people, so on and so forth. Startups, that MS likes so much, to use this tech fully. But it sounds like this is mostly for people that see a workspace environment much like launching a rocket or something and have people waiting on a queue to get sign off for the conference room. Pass the novelty no one cares. I’ve seen this over and over and over.

        How can they make a sucessfull app ecosystem with this that get developers excited about? Something that actually change the world. For this to be sucessfull should be put on any room of 5 people. But hey, I guess we have a picture of an office of one person right there, who knows. Maybe it’s for them too. What about peoples kitchens, don’t people use pin board in kitchens with magnets? Couldn’t this be to serve emazing experiences to a home?

        Interesting view, much like Holelens, the future is here, wait, wait ... its not here.

        • JudaZuk

          In reply to nbplopes:

          The Surface Hub is not really targeting Schools (that have no money) or small startups (that have no money) The Surface Hub and the Surface Hub 2 is for multi million dollar corporations that act on a global market. ...and it has worked out well for them so far.

          Big companies have no problem investing a few millions in a good collaboration tools (video conferencing systems, screen share, group collab software etc) because they save that money in a few months when you can cut down on traveling all around the world all the time.

          Travel time is wasted time, and wasted money if it can be done from the current location instead, and its also a good thing for the environment and that is also a good thing for the corporate image. "We have reduced our flights per year by X amount .. are we not amazing and environmental"

  17. ruusterc