Microsoft Announces Surface Hub as a Collaborative Display Tool

Together with the Windows 10 announcement, Microsoft also showed off the Surface Hub – a collaborative display solution. The system is more than just a touch enabled display, as it runs a modified Windows 10 interface and includes cameras and speakers for video conferencing.

Microsoft Hub is a one display solution that also contains a PC running Windows 10. The touch enabled display allows for up to 100 touch points and supports input from a pen as well. The pen input seems to be favored for annotating documents and adding to brainstorm sessions.

In addition to the Windows 10 platform supporting the touch and pen input, Microsoft Hub comes with Office “apps” including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  Even in the Microsoft world, apps seem to trump the word programs. The Surface Hub also has Microsoft OneNote whiteboard and Skype installed.

The main advantage of the system is the integration of cameras and speakers to be able to combine video conferencing and document sharing from one simple device. The Microsoft OneNote allows users to save the pages in one document for later distribution to the participants. There is also the option to share the work with personal mobile devices. There is obviously a limit to what devices can share with the Surface Hub, but this is not defined yet.

This device aims certainly at the business world rather than the private user. Teamwork in the workplace is the main usage Microsoft has in mind.

The Microsoft Hub will be available later this year at an unknown price. The device will be offered in two sizes 55″ and 84″. The 84″ display has a 4k resolution according to the Microsoft website, however I would assume that by that the company actually means UHD resolution. Since we have no product specification available at the moment, this is pure speculation for now. We have reached out to Microsoft to see if the resolution has been defined yet. There is also a short video available on the Microsoft  website that to my surprise did not play on my Windows XP notebook, but played fine on my Mac. – Norbert Hildebrand