Surprise: Surface Hub is a Huge Success (Literally)

Posted on December 12, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 16 Comments

Surprise: Surface Hub is a Huge Success (Literally)

Anyone criticizing the price point of Microsoft’s new Surface Studio PC may need to reconsider: The far more expensive Surface Hub is off to a blockbuster start.

So much for my theory that Microsoft has jumped the shark with its premium pricing scheme. Somehow, inexplicably, businesses are just in love with these huge, expensive devices.

That said, maybe I should have known better as I had a bit of personal experience with this phenomenon back in late Summer when my parent company/employer spent a few fruitless months trying to obtain two Surface Hubs for Brad and I to use for the First Ring Daily podcast. The orders were pushed back repeatedly, to September, and then to October, and to something amounting to “between now and infinity.” So we had to go to Plan B, which frankly worked out just fine: We’re using killer Samsung 4K UHD/HDR sets instead, and while they were pretty expensive (about $1100 each), they were also a far cry from the $8,999 price tag of a 55-inch Surface Hub.

Regardless of our attempts to acquire some Surface Hubs of our own, news that the devices have been in very short supply has been common since Surface Hub became generally available, so to speak, earlier in the year. But today, Microsoft provided an update. And, I think, some good news for those hoping to make the purchase.

“In only nine months since our launch, we’ve shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets,” Microsoft’s Brian Hall claims. “The average deal size is approximately 50 units, but we’ve seen orders as large as 1,500 units to a large car manufacturer. This makes our team so, so proud.”

Leaving aside for a moment that that car maker is almost certainly the reason I do not now have a Surface Hub, that is pretty impressive. How impressive is unclear. I suspect that the average sale is in fact one unit, and if that is generally true, Microsoft has sold about 4000 units. But if we look at the average cited by Microsoft—50 units—that’s 100,000 units. 100,000 units?? That’s crazy good. Again, the 55-inch version costs $8,999, while the 84-incher is car-like $21,999, speaking of car manufacturers. This could be a legit business for Microsoft.

On that note, Hall says that Microsoft has again “ramped up production” to meet the buying needs of its customers.

“Surface Hub is [now] available for customers worldwide,” he writes. “Resellers worldwide have units. To help meet the demand for Surface Hub, and to provide a great experience for customers, we’re adding more value-added partners who will resell Surface and provide 5-star service to our customers.”

And to goad sales even further, the firm has started a Surface Hub Try-and-Buy Program.

“We will enable a select set of our resellers to provide customers Hubs for 30 days before the committing to purchasing a large set of devices,” Hall explains. “This will launch in US and European Surface Hub markets this winter, and in Asia pacific at a later date. We have the data to show that this is a winner program, because people and businesses that use Surface Hub are amazed by it – and really want their business to use Surface Hub.”

I can only imagine what the shipping costs on that program are going to look like. Probably like the price tag on those Samsung TVs.

Hall also discussed a new set of Surface Hub features in response to customer feedback, but these were previously revealed, and shipped back in October.

 

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