Microsoft may have cancelled or delayed the release of its Surface Hub 2X digital whiteboard according to a new report from Brad Sams on Petri.com. The news follows the release of the Surface Hub 2S last year, which succeeded to the original Surface Hub released in 2015.
Microsoft unveiled the Surface Hub 2 back in May 2018, but we later learned that Microsoft was working on two different devices, the Surface Hub 2S shipping in 2019 and the Surface Hub 2X expected for 2020. The company also revealed that Surface Hub 2S would use a cartridge system that would allow companies to upgrade it to Surface Hub 2X in 2020.
According to Sams, “people familiar with the company’s plans have indicated that Microsoft has cancelled or significantly delayed the Surface Hub 2X and that it will not be shipping as previously announced.” Sams also noted that Microsoft removed the Surface Hub 2 video from YouTube and other information related to Surface 2X from its website.
“One potential reason cited by those familiar with the company’s plans for the cancellation is that the development of WCOS, Windows Core OS, is not going as smoothly as expected which is causing delays for some implementations,” Sams said today. Back in December, Zac Bowden from Windows Central reported that Surface Hub 2X may actually ship with Windows 10X, the new OS that Microsoft is developing for Surface Neo and other dual-screen PCs. However, Sams didn’t confirm this today.
Microsoft never went into details about what operating system Surface Hub 2X would be running. The Surface Hub 2S, which shipped last year, still runs the Windows 10 Teams OS that shipped on the original Surface Hub. In the original Surface Hub 2 video, Microsoft showed the Surface Hub 2X OS (presumably powered by Windows Core OS) which brought support for new features including display rotation and the ability to combine four different Surface Hub 2X displays together. Last year, The Verge’s Tom Warren also reported that Microsoft was exploring bringing support for Win32 apps on the Surface Hub 2X.
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
Microsoft provided the following statement to Brad Sams, which doesn’t clarify if Surface Hub 2X is still being actively developed:
We have an ongoing dialogue with our customers on Hub and are working to align the roadmap to best meet their needs. The top two priorities for Hub in 2020 are deploying the 85” device and rolling out an OS update that includes many top features customers have been requesting since Surface Hub 2S launched, including improving IT integration, deployment and management capabilities at no cost for all version 1 Hubs and Hub 2S devices. We’ll have more to share in the coming months.”
If Sams’ sources are correct and complications with Windows Core OS forced Microsoft to change its plans for Windows 10X, that wouldn’t be completely surprising. HoloLens 2, the first Microsoft device powered by Windows Core OS only started shipping back in November, nine months after Microsoft revealed it at Mobile World Congress. Windows 10X, which is also based on Windows Core OS, is still far from being ready and we didn’t see any Windows 10X PCs at CES earlier this month, except for a prototype from Lenovo.
Windows Core OS definitely seems to be a huge undertaking, and even though the Surface Hub 2X demos we saw in 2018 looked very promising, it may have been too early for Microsoft to talk about Surface 2X and show these new features.