Microsoft Brings Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise to Surface Hub 2S

Posted on September 1, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 with 12 Comments

Microsoft announced today that it will offer a new configuration of Surface Hub 2S that comes with Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.

“Today’s environment requires different kinds of flexibility to make people and teams as productive as possible,” Microsoft’s Yoav Barzilay writes. “It’s never been more important to empower every worker, employee, and student with the tools they need to collaborate whether they are together in person or connected remotely. Surface Hub 2S can help bridge the gap and connect people wherever they are whether in traditional workspaces and classrooms or in personal offices and offsite locations.”

Until today, all Surface Hub collaboration displays came with Surface Hub OS, an offshoot of Windows 10 that was later renamed to Windows 10 Team. Unlike traditional Windows 10 PCs, Surface Hub isn’t designed to be used by or authenticated against a single person; instead, it is a collaboration solution that supports multiple users at once.

The problem, of course, is that all of those people need to be in the same room at the same time. And in this New Normal ™ we live under because of COVID-19, that’s no longer possible for most. So Microsoft is addressing this problem by making Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise—which are designed for individuals—available as an option with Surface Hub 2S.

This new configuration also allows Microsoft’s customers to create custom kiosk mode configurations in targeted environments, just as they would on any Windows 10 PC.

Less obviously, this means that you can now run Windows desktop applications—also called “Win32 apps”—on Surface Hub 2S for the first time as well. Windows 10 Team can only run Microsoft Store apps.

Finally, you can also migrate existing Surface Hub 2S devices from Windows 10 Team to Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. You can learn more here.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Microsoft Brings Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise to Surface Hub 2S”

  1. Avatar

    sykeward

    On some level, I suppose I'm happy that Microsoft is providing options to whoever actually sprung for this thing – although I'm not sure how advantageous it is to turn a $9,000 specialty device (plus $3,000 for the stand+battery) into the functional equivalent of a cheap computer attached to a 4K TV. Otherwise this is just another reminder of how Microsoft took a device with so much potential and just wasted it.

    • Avatar

      SvenJ

      In reply to Sykeward: Cool, where did you find that 50" 4K multi-touch Surface Pen enabled TV?


      • Avatar

        sykeward

        In reply to SvenJ:

        Admittedly nowhere, which is also where I found any useful applications for a 50" 4K multi-touch Surface Pen enabled TV.


        In all seriousness, you can get multi-touch overlays for televisions starting at $200-ish for a cheap infrared sensor frame up to professional-quality overlays from LG and Sony for $1,500+. None of this changes the fact that Surface Hub has withered on the vine, with the Hub 2S still offering limited features and the flagship 2X they showed to the press being MIA and likely cancelled altogether. "Here, now you can install Windows 10 Pro on it!" isn't a solution to this, IMO.

        • Avatar

          SvenJ

          In reply to Sykeward: At this point, probably all true. It may be the future of whiteboards though. Needs to come down in price of course, but things do, assuming they catch on. I'm sure both of us recall the starting prices of disk drives, CD drives, Blu-Ray drives, etc. I think teachers would love this thing, whiteboard, presentation device, video function. Teachers would likely be the last folks to get them though.


  2. Avatar

    filipvh

    I recall being disappointed early on when I learned remote users couldn't collaborate on a Surface Hub whiteboard from a Teams call. And now, instead of improving the service so that collaboration works better when most users are working from home, they're turning the Hub into a "less portable" Surface Pro.


    This is the beginning of the end of this experiment.

  3. Avatar

    bluvg

    Explored kiosk mode for a similar purpose about a year ago, but found it very impractical for all but a tiny set of use cases. Hopefully they've made some improvements on that front.

  4. Avatar

    rusty chameleon

    Does the S in 2S stand for "S-mode"?

    It's really a wonder anybody can understand anything from Microsoft at all.

    • Avatar

      wolters

      In reply to rusty chameleon:

      Yes, it was a "S-Mode" of sorts and it was a dealbreaker to even consider it for our work environment. Now, with our President/Owner wanting to work remotely, having 4-5 remote users and having more video meetings, this makes more sense for us especially now that we can get Windows 10 Pro on it.

  5. Avatar

    bkkcanuck

    The first thing that hits me is not even the function of this device, but the lack of any aesthetics. You are a company and you want to roll it into an important meeting and the stand and display look rather poor... The display is angled up (not sure it can be adjusted perpendicular)... It looks like it was designed down in the basement from spare parts... I like the idea of an easel style work surface etc... but execution seems lacking.

  6. Avatar

    Greg Green

    Ha! I read that as Hub 25. I thought I missed about 23 versions.

  7. Avatar

    ghostrider

    Another device desperately trying to find a market. Microsoft really should try and identify strong use cases where they've actually spoken to potential customers first rather than designing something then hoping people buy it. Every one of our meeting rooms has a ceiling mounted projector that can blow a desktop up to >120 inches, controlled with a remote and IR wand. Way more practical, and those business class projectors cost about 20% of the price of a Surface Hub.

  8. Avatar

    datameister

    "a collaboration solution that supports multiple users at once"


    That reminds me, years ago after Apple released the first iPad, I wanted to see Microsoft release a house operating system designed to run multiple wired touch monitors over HD Base-T with the camera/mic, and touch interface like the iPad (but without the storage, battery, or cpu). The OS would run separate user desktops simultaneously to allow people to "login" from any monitor (maybe with a fingerprint reader) to make video calls, room to room intercom, leave messages, etc. In addition to the discrete user desktop, it would also run the house control panel for home automation controls.



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