Microsoft Surface Hub 84-Inch And 55-Inch Collaborative Work Displays Finally Shipping After Multiple Delays
To say that Microsoft's Surface Hub has had a bit of a rough start would be an understatement. Time and time again, just when we thought it was about to officially launch, Microsoft would pull up the reins announcing the wait would be a bit longer. But, no more. Surface Hub is here, and it's shipping.
Microsoft's Surface Hub is designed primarily for the enterprise, with the goal of helping teams accomplish more collaboratively. This isn't just some marketing fluff; Microsoft itself has been using Surface Hub in house for the same purposes it's promoting. Brian Hall, Microsoft's GM of Devices Marketing says about the Hub: "I can tell you confidently, our Surface team works together better because we have Surface Hub."
So how does Surface Hub help? As an "interactive whiteboard" of sorts but also much more. It will give meeting-goers the opportunity to take advantage of a number of Microsoft products, including of course Windows 10. Beyond that, collaboration tools include Skype for Business, Office, OneNote, and of course, Windows' 'Universal' apps. With a Hub in house (on the wall or on a stand), a user can grab their pen (or use their finger) to manipulate the content on screen. This in effect makes Surface Hub little different from a regular Surface tablet; it's the size that's different but there are also communication and team-connecting hooks here as well.
Check out a live demo of the Surface Hub in action that we captured at Microsoft's Innovation Center in Chicago recently.
Microsoft says that fields like healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, consulting, defense, finance, education, and design can all make good use of the Surface Hub, as it brings increased efficiency versus old-school AV presentation technology. So far, AstraZeneca, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and SHoP Architects have adopted and now swear by the Surface Hub.
In a specific example, Microsoft says that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will be using software developed by Qwaltec so that the Surface Hub becomes a control center for doctors and medical staff, to help manage scheduling better. Let's just hope that these doctors don't have so much fun using the Hub that they become distracted and actually less productive somehow.
However, Microsoft also notes a couple of stats the company captured while Surface Hub was put into use by early adopters. For example, companies that put Hub to use found a 75% improvement in those joining remotely, and that 15-20 minutes were saved on average for the setup process. If you're in business and have ever had to join a conference call, chances are good that you understand how rarely they're pulled off without a hitch. Surface Hub can definitely help with some of those issues.
If you or your business are interested in snapping up a Surface Hub, you'll want to head here.