Microsoft’s new Windows Collaboration Displays platform will let its partners create Surface Hub-like room-scale meeting and collaboration devices.
“Windows Collaboration Displays [are] large, interactive displays [that] will let people experience Microsoft 365 collaboration tools—Office, Teams, and Whiteboard—at room scale, and [they] include built-in sensors that can connect to Azure IoT spatial intelligence capabilities,” Microsoft’s Nick Parker explains. “This incredible technology will allow facility managers to utilize environmental data to make real-time decisions. A variety of collaboration displays, from Sharp and Avocor will be available later this year.”
Announced this week at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, Windows Collaboration Displays are described as “a new category of teamwork devices,” which suggests that Surface Hub is now playing an aspirational role similar to that of Microsoft’s other Surface products. And that Microsoft is letting its hardware partners, including PC and display makers, in on the action.
In a pre-briefing, Microsoft’s Dinesh Narayanan talked up the “continued momentum” of the firm’s evolving intelligent edge strategy, noting that Windows Collaboration Displays were just part of a continuum of smart devices that can connect to the intelligent cloud. In doing so, Microsoft isn’t so much creating a new form factor, it’s providing new experiences on a familiar form factor.
And on that note, I only got a quick peek, in still image form, at a single Windows Collaboration Display, the Sharp 70-inch Collaboration Display. Sure enough, it looks like your basic giant screen, albeit with handles on the back and a top-mounted camera/sensor array.