Microsoft's Surface Hub 2 Hits Fork In Road, Will Feature Upgradeable CPU Module

surface hub 2 1
Microsoft announced the Surface Hub 2 back in May as the follow-up to the first-generation collaborative display. Featuring a 50.5-inch 4K+ PixelSense display (with the familiar 3:2 aspect ratio), Microsoft promised a huge leap in capabilities over its predecessor and a 2019 ship date.

Today, however, Microsoft is making some adjustments to its rollout strategy for the Surface Hub 2. Rather than being a single product release, Microsoft will bifurcate the product into the Surface Hub 2S and Surface Hub 2X. 

Surface Hub 2S will launch during the second quarter of 2019 and will feature the previously promised higher resolution 4K+ PixelSense display while running software from the first-generation Surface Hub. This means that fancy features like rotation, tiling and multiuser support that wowed us during the Surface Hub 2's unveil will not be available. 

The "true" second-generation hardware will arrive in 2020 as the Surface Hub 2X. This device will have all of the software goodies unveiled back in mid-May. For those that think that Surface Hub 2S customers will be getting the shaft, Microsoft has announced that there will be a removable processor cartridge on the back of the display that will allow it to effectively be updated to "2X" status. The cartridge will be combined with a software update to enable the aforementioned rotation, tiling, and multiuser sign-in.

Microsoft reckons that this two-pronged approach will give its enterprise customers the option to use a more local-storage centric option like the Surface Hub 2S instead of jumping feet first into the Surface Hub 2X, which is cloud-centric with heavy reliance on Office 365. Whenever its customers are ready to make the shift fully into the cloud, those Surface Hub 2S devices will be fully able with the processor cartridge upgrade path.