The Surface Hub 2 can 'tile' four units into one big display

Microsoft announces the Surface Hub 2 with 50.5-inch display

Microsoft announces the Surface Hub 2 with 50.5-inch display

"The Surface Hub 2 boasts a 4K+ 50.5" multi-touch display, and uses Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and what Microsoft calls "the intelligent cloud".

Microsoft gave an early look at its next-generation Surface Hub 2 today. The company has this time added more robust collaborative tools which can allow multiple users to simply sign in simultaneously through a fingerprint reader and pull up their work onto a single workspace. When the Surface Hub 2 launches, you will be able to attach it to a rolling cart (Microsoft partnered with Steelcase to design the cart) so you could, say, bring the whiteboard from a conference room to a smaller team huddle room and work on a project with your team there. By announcing it almost a year early, Microsoft is possibly aiming to outpace its competition and rope in a few businesses who typically order such devices in advance. That's a capability that the original Hub offered, too, but Microsoft sees this as one of the understated but important psychological elements to encourage collaboration between remote users. "I think that Teams will primarily be the way you'll want to work within it, to get the full functionality", Day said.

Microsoft doesn't mention a larger unit like the current 84-inch model, and there's good reason why the company may not take this larger avenue: Tiling. We were told that this is to render the new Surface Hub into a more portable device that's easier to move. Surface Hub is an interactive whiteboard aimed at productivity. Seeing four of the lovely Surface Hub 2s lined up together has undeniable visual effect and will have a profound impact on what groups can accomplish together, allowing users to display multiple pieces of content side-by-side, said Microsoft's Chief Product Officer Panos Panay.

One of the coolest features of the Surface Hub 2 is its "Tiling" ability. It runs Windows 10 and supports the Surface Pen.

Microsoft's tumultuous relationship with hardware is well known. The company will start testing the Surface Hub 2 with some of its commercial customers this year, and it will be generally available next year.

So far, Microsoft is keeping pricing and technical details under wraps. Remember the $9,000 MSRP for the 55-inch version of the first-generation hub.

Microsoft is targeting the Hub 2 at work, rather than play.

Interestingly, Microsoft didn't show off the Surface Hub 2 inside its "conference room of the future" demonstration at Build, its recent developer conference. We've sold to more than 5000 customers across 25 markets.

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