Microsoft’s unveiling of the Surface Hub 2 in May this year provoked a very positive reaction. So much so that the company says it’s going to shake up its plans with a staggered launch.
The Surface Hub 2 as originally envisaged is a 50.5-inch 4K display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a webcam, and a touchscreen. It builds on the existing Surface Hub in a couple of key areas: the whole screen can rotate to be used in either orientation; multiple devices can be tiled together to build a giant screen that operates as one; and its software will support multiple user accounts.
That’s still ultimately the plan, but the way it’s going to be delivered is a little more complicated. In the second quarter of 2019, Microsoft will release the Surface Hub 2S. That offers the new display and form factor but running the current Surface Hub software—meaning no rotation, no tiling, and no multiuser. It’s essentially a sleeker, faster version of the current Surface Hub system.
In 2020, Microsoft is releasing the Surface Hub 2X. This is the version that will offer the original Surface Hub 2 vision, with all the extra software features. 2S hardware will be upgradable to 2X machines through replacing a removable processor cartridge housed in the back of the system. It seems that this removable cartridge will allow the hardware that drives the display to be updated and revised independently of the display itself, giving the systems greater longevity.
Listing image by Microsoft