Microsoft’s massive 84” and 55” Surface Hub devices, slated to go on sale in July, are manufactured in Wilsonville, Oregon in the United States. While many devices are manufactured overseas, a variety of factors led to Microsoft’s corporate aimed multi touch hubs being made in the US. The New York Times explained, and explored the history and future of manufacturing technology in the United States.
Because many devices are made overseas, there are parts and assembly lines already in place. That is not the case for the Surface Hub. The Surface Hub comes in 84” and 54” models, both of which are so large that there are no preexisting assembly lines in Asia. When speaking on manufacturing the Surface Hub, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Mike Angiulo said “we are the scale.”
In addition to a lack of oversea assembly lines, the 84” version of the Surface Hub weights 220 lbs. which drives up shipping cost for finished devices.
Some may recognize the specific town the Surface Hub is being manufactured in, Wilsonville Oregon, as it is the location of the startup company “Perceptive Pixel.” Perceptive Pixel is in many ways the father of the Surface Hub. The startup company which produced giant touch screen devices was purchased by Microsoft in 2012. The assembly plant that Perceptive Pixel used is now being used for the Surface Hub, albeit with approximately seven times bigger than the original set of engineers and manufacturers, totaling at a couple hundred people.
Manufacturing big name technology is not new to the state of Oregon. It is also home of chip manufacturer Intel.
While the Surface Hub is currently being manufactured in the United States, there are many parts that are being shipped in from overseas. Additionally, Mr. Angiuolo did not rule out the possibility of moving manufacturing overseas but did state that Microsoft would “have to launch this product and get it right.”Further reading: Microsoft, Surface Hub