Bad news on two counts, if you’ve been waiting on Surface Hub: Microsoft has delayed the release of this unique collaboration solution a second time. Worse, it is raising the price of each Surface Hub model.
“We are still on track to ship the first Surface Hub devices to customers early next year,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. “We are excited about the impact this new category of device will have on transforming how people collaborate at work. It’s an ambitious goal and we want to make sure we are taking the right steps to build a successful business that will drive this new category forward.”
In order to “build the right sales channel and better assess the market opportunity for this new category,” Microsoft has made the following adjustments to its Surface Hub go-to-market strategy.
While Microsoft doesn’t use the word “delay,” the Surface Hub launch has in fact been pushed back, from January 1, 2016 to sometime in Q1 2016 (which could be as late as late March, I guess).
This is the second time Microsoft has delayed the release of Surface Hub. It was originally expected in September 2015, and Microsoft has been taking preorders since July 1, 2015. But in August, Microsoft delayed the release until January 1, citing the need to adjust its manufacturing capabilities to meet higher-than-expected demand.
This week’s delay is a lot vaguer: Microsoft says it needs time to “build the right sales channel and better assess the market opportunity for this new category.” (That last bit doesn’t suggest higher-than-expected demand.) It is also finalizing its manufacturing plan “with a view towards delivering the best product experience.”
When Microsoft announced Surface Hub pricing in June, it said it would charge $20,000 for the 84-inch 4K version and $7000 for the 55-inch 1080p unit.
Microsoft will still respect that pricing for any companies that have already preordered a Surface Hub. But it is “adjusting” the price of Surface Hub upwards for new orders going forward. So the 84-inch version will now cost $21,999 (a $2000 price hike), while the 55-inch Surface Hub will be $8,999, also a $2000 price hike.
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