Microsoft will start accepting pre-orders of its Surface Hub device on July 1 in 24 markets. The devices will commence shipping in September. The larger device, weighing in at 84 inches, will cost $19,999. The smaller 55-inch option is a far-cheaper $6,999.
In case you are behind, the Surface Hub is a massive touch screen, built on the tech that Microsoft acquired by buying Perceptive Pixel (PPI). It’s a fusion of Windows 10, enough touch screen to drown a minor army, and, now, a ship date. For reference, the Hub has a computer built in, so it’s a more plug and play sort of affair. Designed for conference rooms, the Hub is a unified system for video calls, note taking, collaboration and, of course, apps.
Microsoft will wax poetic, if you let it, about how the Surface Hub employs a Windows variant that takes advantage of this and that, but what you need to know is that Windows is better on larger screens, and the Surface Hub is a fucking big screen. This was true with Windows 8 and PPI displays, but with the slicker Surface Hub hardware, and Windows 10’s strengths over Windows 8, it’s now more accurate.
To build the Surface Hub, Microsoft put together a factory in Oregon. The company had previously hinted that it intended to mass-produce its PPI displays. As it turns out, that was true, but not in the precise way that we thought.
Sadly, we can’t dub the Surface Hub a ‘big-ass touchscreen,’ as we once called its predecessors. But nicknames are good, and so I’ve decided to go with ‘wall-computer’ for the Surface Hub. I contemplated ‘massive-wall-computer,’ but that ran on a bit, so here we are.
Microsoft’s Surface Hub, at a minimum, will help establish a new pecking order inside of the company. PPI displays were once a sign that an employee was sufficiently important to get one in their office. I presume that Surface Hubs will quickly take over that role.
I’m curious at how fast Microsoft can ramp demand for the Surface Hub. Just for fun: 50,000 units of the larger edition would be a billion in revenue. At what point does a product line a KPI make?