Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Takes Work Team Collaboration to a New Level

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Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Takes Work Team Collaboration to a New Level

Microsoft has corporate collaboration clearly in its sights with its new Surface Hub 2. The device, which Microsoft unveiled on May 15, was redesigned to give companies the option of using or multiple 50.5-inch screens to facilitate employee collaboration. The technology is powered by Windows 10 and comes with a variety of Microsoft business applications, including Microsoft Teams, Whiteboard, and Office 365. With some help from its 4K camera and far-field microphone, the Surface Hub 2 is designed for companies that often hold video conference calls. Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 is a major step forward in the company’s collaboration efforts.

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It’s Designed to Keep Mobile Workforces on

In a blog post announcing the Surface Hub 2, Microsoft said that it’s designed the device for collaboration within mobile workforces. Microsoft noted that within three years, “half of the global workforce will be mobile.” As a result, companies, looking to improve productivity, will need to have systems that enhance collaboration. Microsoft said that companies with collaborative work environments are “five times as likely to be high-performing” as those that do not take a collaborative tack. Surface Hub 2, Microsoft said, addresses all of those concerns and puts companies on a path to enhanced collaboration and productivity.

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There Are Single- or Multi-Display Options

The Surface Hub 2 is a touch-enabled screen that measures 50.5 inches. It boasts a 4K resolution and allows for multiple people to touch objects the screen at the same time. Its thin bezels aren’t just for show: they’re designed to demarcate the lines between displays when companies employ a multi-screen Surface Hub 2 array. According to Microsoft, companies can synchronize to four Surface Hub 2 screens together to create a gigantic collaborative display.

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Surface Hub 2 Is Chock Full of Microsoft Software

Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 runs on Windows 10 and offers all of the familiar Windows experiences companies would expect. Each Surface Hub 2 also comes bundled with Microsoft’s collaborative service Teams, as well as Microsoft Whiteboard. Office 365 is also supported in the Surface Hub 2.

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Microsoft Is Adding ‘Enhanced’ Collaboration Features

In addition to standard collaborative features, like the ability to see a big display remotely and comment on content in real time, Microsoft said that its Surface Hub 2 has “enhanced collaboration features.” Chief among them is a multi-user sign-in feature that lets multiple employees simultaneously sign in to the Surface Hub 2 to use various applications and to save content to their own cloud accounts.

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The Surface Hub 2 Will Have a More Flexible Design

Many companies might opt to place their Surface Hub 2s on the wall and they will have the choice to arrange the display in portrait or landscape modes. They can even transition from one mode to the other on the fly. Microsoft has also partnered with office furniture manufacturer Steelcase to design rolling stands and other mounts that allow employees to move their Surface Hub 2s around the office. Unlike the original Surface Hub, Microsoft said, its second-generation model can be used anywhere in the office.

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It Supports 4K Video Conferencing

The company has built high-end video conference features into the Surface Hub 2 to facilitate improved video conferencing for mobile workforces. For instance, the device ships with a 4K camera to capture to deliver sharp video.. There’s also a far-field microphone baked into the machine, so employees can be away from the screen and still communicate with mobile colleagues.

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A Fingerprint Sensor Will Control User Access

Considering Surface Hub 2 is designed to be used by a variety of employees at all levels within a company, ensuring the safety and privacy of data is paramount. To address that, Microsoft will bake a physical fingerprint sensor into the Surface Hub 2. Since the Surface Hub 2 is an office tool, multiple employee fingerprints can be input into the device at the same time.

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Microsoft Will Begin Beta Tests This YearWill

Microsoft isn’t saying too much about the Surface Hub 2’s availability. The company said that it will begin to test the technology with “select commercial customers” this year and make it generally available some time in 2019.

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Microsoft Hasn’t Specified Pricing or Hardware Specifications

Microsoft is keeping some important details about its upcoming Surface Hub 2 close to the vest. For instance, the company didn’t say in its statement on May 15 how much the Surface Hub 2 would cost. Microsoft also didn’t discuss many of the machine’s critical specifications, including processing power, RAM, and graphics performance. It’s unclear whether those hardware specifications are still evolving.

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Who Are Likely Buyers of Surface Hub 2

Microsoft is rather broad in its description of the anticipated Surface Hub 2 customers and simply says it would be suitable for companies with teams that want to see improved collaboration. But it’s perhaps important to consider that the current make-up of those who bought its first-generation Surface Hub. According to Microsoft, it has 5,000 Surface Hub customers across 25 markets. Many of them are Fortune 100 companies, suggesting larger enterprises see value in the Surface Hub experience.

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