Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its Surface Hub successor, the Surface Hub 2, with a brand new 4K display, smaller bezels, thinner footprint, 3:2 aspect ratio and 4K cameras among other updates.
However, during the May 15th reveal Microsoft only hinted at a distant 2019 release date for its Surface Hub 2, but today at Ignite, the company locked in a more concrete deliverable timeframe, and the Hub 2 is now scheduled for Q2 2019.
Similar to the original Surface Hub rollout, Microsoft plans to release the new enterprise collaboration workspace in phases but divided up by two unique experiences this time around.
The first experience, called the Surface Hub 2S, will focus on needs of current Surface Hub customers. The Surface Hub 2S is essentially a bridge for companies who have already gotten used to the software and physical interactions of the current Surface Hub experience but paired with the new hardware of the Surface Hub 2; think the latest Apple software on older hardware. Some new features will be enabled but for the most part, the experience should remain similar to what current customers have already grown to love, with the ability to pair older hardware with newer through modular design.
Surface Hub 2S was built for customers who have told us they still want the original Surface Hub experience that they know and have built for, but in a lighter, thinner, more vibrant design. With Surface Hub 2S customers will be able to deploy either an on-premise or hybrid environment and keep the software experiences that they have standardized on with the original Surface Hub. Businesses can also now continue to use Skype for Business on their Surface Hub 2 S or deploy the latest version of Microsoft Teams.
The second experience is what Microsoft is describing as Surface Hub 2X which is basically the Surface Hub 2 “unleashed.” The experience is designed for new and first time Surface Hub users and will come out of the box with support for dynamic rotation, multi-user authentication, tilting and more. While the actual features will not be available until the following year in 2020, Surface Hub 2X owners will be among the first users to see the full potential of the Surface Hub 2. While most Surface Hub 2 updates will presumably come over-the-air, the company is employing a modular update process that involves a processor cartridge that can be serviced over time.
imagine if your tablet display just rotated like the Surface Hub 2. This is Windows Core OS in action pic.twitter.com/d4ZDwIg0Gf
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) September 24, 2018
This simple update is enabled by our design of removable processor cartridges, in an easily accessible hardware chassis on the back of the Surface Hub 2. This processor cartridge can be removed, upgraded and serviced over time. The cartridge is what will enable customers to make the switch to the Microsoft 365 powered Surface Hub 2X in 2020
New Surface Hub features include built-in Bing Search, image stacks, contact search, and an improved Microsoft Whiteboard experience among other items.
We may see Microsoft talk more about its Surface Hub 2 during its scheduled October 2, 2018 event where many speculate it’ll be a hardware-heavy occasion.