June 10, 2015 6:01 am

Surface Hub Coming to 24 Markets; Businesses Can Order Starting July 1

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By Mike Angiulo, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group

Today is a big day for us. Three years ago, we set out to build a completely new kind of experience — a collaboration device designed from the ground up with group productivity in mind. Today marks a milestone on the journey. With the announcement that we’ll begin taking orders for Surface Hub on July 1, we are one step closer to bringing a new way of working to our business customers and delivering a tool that will bring teams together in more efficient and engaging ways.

Surface Hub is the result of several teams across the company thinking holistically across hardware, software and cloud services to design a new kind of productivity experience to meet the needs of today’s modern workforce. What struck us is that while there have been a number of devices designed to improve our productivity as individuals — from the PC to the smartphone to bands and watches — there has yet to be a device truly optimized for a group of people to use together. We decided to take on that challenge. Just as the PC revolutionized productivity for individuals, we set out to build a device that would transform the way groups of people work together.

We knew it had to start with an experience that is easy and engaging to walk up and use, whether it’s simply picking up the pen to launch the digital whiteboard or starting a Skype meeting with one tap. In January, we unveiled Surface Hub for the first time and showed how breakthrough hardware innovations in touch and ink allowed us to bring to life Windows 10, Skype for Business, Office, OneNote, and Universal Windows apps in entirely new ways. And people got excited.

Customers have shared their anticipation about the promise of Surface Hub to make meetings and brainstorms more productive — especially for remote attendees. Developers have expressed excitement about the new world of possibilities Surface Hub presents for large-screen apps built for ink and touch. And our channel partners have told us they see a real opportunity for Surface Hub to be disruptive in the market and to change the way people think about how they outfit conference rooms and meeting spaces.

But top of mind for all of them has been two basic questions: How much will it cost, and how can I buy it?  Today, we’re excited to share that Surface Hub will be available for businesses to order in 24 markets on July 1 and will begin shipping worldwide in September. To meet the needs of a variety of rooms and spaces, Surface Hub is available in two main configurations: Surface Hub 55-inch for huddle spaces, small conference rooms and offices is priced at $6,999, and Surface Hub 84-inch for larger meeting rooms is priced at $19,999.

Delivering Strong Value

When the PC launched, we had a mission to put it on every desk and in every home, because we truly believed in the transformative power it would have. So it won’t come as a surprise that our ultimate goal is to put Surface Hub in every meeting space — to truly create a HUB where people can gather physically or virtually to connect, share ideas and make decisions. The price reflects that ambition.

As a complete, all-in-one solution, Surface Hub delivers incredible value. In an average conference room, Surface Hub replaces a number of disparate tools and technologies, including the audio-video conferencing system, display, projector, wireless receiver, and the analog or digital whiteboard at a lower upfront cost. And when you look at ongoing management costs, the story gets even stronger. Rather than having to manage multiple components separately, as a Windows 10 device Surface Hub can be easily and centrally managed by IT.  It will also benefit from Windows Update for Business, which provides access to the latest innovation and security updates on an ongoing basis. Surface Hub delivers the power and versatility of a connected device along with the simplicity of a custom interface that is built for people to walk up and use.

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Changing the Way We Work

While Surface Hub delivers immediate value in addressing existing pain points, what businesses are really excited about is how the device will bring a new level of innovation to the way people work. By connecting the industry-specific apps that organizations rely on to manage their business processes with an engaging remote meeting and collaboration solution, Surface Hub will provide a more efficient way to connect today’s increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce. Businesses will also be able to draw from a wide variety of Windows 10 apps to put real-time data and business tools at the center of meetings, helping them gain insights and reach decisions faster. For example, think about the manufacturing process – the teams that design a product are often on the other side of the world from the team in the factory who actually builds it.  When a problem is identified with a component coming off the line, the two teams can now look at a detailed CAD file in real time and use the Surface Hub to write directly on the image to clearly communicate what needs to change – eliminating the need to put someone on a plane.  Or consider an architecture firm that’s looking at blueprints of a space on the Surface Hub in the office and marking up changes that the contractors working onsite can see on their tablet. Surface Hub will go beyond just improving meetings and will truly improve business workflow.

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Global Availability

We’re working closely with a set of strategic partners to make it easy for businesses in 24 markets to deploy Surface Hub into their organizations in a way that naturally integrates into their existing rooms and IT environments.   Surface Hub and related accessories will begin shipping worldwide in September in the following markets: the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

There is no doubt in our mind that Surface Hub is going to change the way groups work together. Just as the PC revolutionized productivity for individuals, we see Surface Hub as a transformative tool for group productivity. We look forward to seeing how customers and partners apply their own creativity and innovation to this new category.

Mike Angiulo, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group