Microsoft has brought its elusive enterprise-focused collaboration device, the Surface Hub, out of hiding at business IT expo CeBIT 2016, happening today in Hannover, Germany. The information was discovered by Reddit user u/chisk_.
According to the original source in German, the Surface Hub demonstrated features a 55-inch Full HD stylus-supported screen at 120Hz refresh rate, an Intel core i5 4th generation (Haswell), 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. Up to three people can work on it simultaneously. There is one Full HD camera on each side of the Surface Hub that can dynamically track users depending on their position. Notably, there is no built-in hardware for Windows Hello which depending on use cases may be a missed opportunity for Microsoft, especially in the enterprise environment.
On the software side, the Surface Hub runs a special version of Windows 10 with a customized lock screen that shows the scheduled meetings for the day, as well as three icons for calling, whiteboard, and connecting to other devices. Inside Windows, there’s a permanent button for Skype for Business group calls of up to 250 people. The Surface Hub can install and run Universal Windows Apps through the Windows Store; the file explorer, however, is stripped down for touch optimization, so those looking for a full desktop experience with the Hub will be disappointed.
The performance of the Surface Hub reportedly improved greatly from its July 2015 debute, and now leaves little to be desired: navigation is quick, calls can be made with two steps, and the 120Hz screen looks smooth in motion. The fact that its functionality is based on Universal Windows Apps, despite not being as severe a problem in the enterprise, should still put more pressure than ever on Microsoft to make progress with developers in the times to come.
The device is going to retail in Germany for 10000€, with an as-yet undetermined release date. Stay tuned to WinBeta for updates.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface, Surface Hub, Universal Windows App, Universal Windows Platform, Windows 10