Microsoft’s Amazing, Accessible Surface Hub 2 (Premium)

It's been a long time since I've felt this excited about a new Microsoft product. It's a feeling I've only felt a handful of times over the years.

This morning, Microsoft announced Surface Hub 2, the successor to its first-generation Surface Hub collaboration PCs. Mehedi has all the details we know so far about this amazing device, including its rotating, 50.5-inch 4K+ display and nearly bezel-less design, and its ability to "tile" or stack with up to three other Surface Hub 2s.

Impressive, right?

Sure. But Surface Hub 2 is much more than the aggregate of its specifications and capabilities. The thing is, Surface Hub 2 is exciting. It thrills on a level that goes far deeper than its design, which is indeed beautiful, or its functionality, which does look impressive. Surface Hub 2 thrills on a level that is far more visceral. Because you can see the future in Surface Hub 2. Can see that Surface Hub 2 will be a broader, more mainstream success than its predecessors ever could be. You can tell that Microsoft got it right.

Was I just ... giggling?

These events are rare. And they are precious to me.

Here's one memorable example. In January 2002, Microsoft provided with me a hands-on demo of a product that was then codenamed "Freestyle"; it went on to become Windows XP Media Center Edition. I was gobsmacked, and when the Microsoftie finished his demo and spiel and asked me what I thought, I just sunk back in my chair and exhaled like I had been holding my breath the whole time. Maybe I had been.

I knew that Freestyle was still several months away, but I wanted it now. No, it was worse than that: Freestyle looked so good, it ruined the experience of using whatever I was using, and would have to keep using until Freestyle finally shipped. "Thanks," I told Microsoft. "You just made the next several months suck."

It's been a while. But that's what happened when I watched the Surface Hub 2 product demo video the first time.

I could feel something familiar but distant swelling up inside me, like that moment in "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" when the Grinch's heart, which was normally two sizes too small, suddenly sprung to life and "grew three sizes that day."

In that classic holiday cartoon, the Grinch had found the true meaning of Christmas. For me, this is more about me finding that moment when Microsoft decidedly earned the right to make its own hardware. That it had landed a knockout blow to any critic of its hardware efforts.

Surface Hub 2 looks fricking amazing.

And it achieves on so many levels. It makes its once-impressive predecessor look semi-pointless by comparison, which isn't fair, really, since the original generation Surface Hub PCs certainly have a role to play still. And it cracks open the market for customers in an almost exponential way: Where the original Surface Hub was relegated to certain well-heeled enterprise customers only, Surface Hub 2 will find a home...

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