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Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2S: The collaboration culture is here

Mala Bhargava | Updated on May 19, 2020

Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, a giant touchscreen that brings together everyone who’s working on a common project

This giant digital whiteboard is impossibly adaptive and versatile, making it possible for teams to work together from across the world

The past few months have shown how critical it is for colleagues and teams to work together, no matter where they’re locked down at the time. Where once individual productivity used to be constantly under the scanner, companies now place a higher premium on the ability to collaborate to come up with ideas and creative solutions. The final shove into remote digital working has come from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a time that Microsoft had decided is ripe for its Surface Hub 2S, a giant touchscreen that brings together everyone who’s working on a common project — no matter where they are. It’s beyond smart whiteboard or beyond just an oversized PC. The Hub 2S has evolved into an all-in-one digital whiteboard, meeting platform, and teamwork collaborative computing device aimed at the modern workplace.

Surface Hub 2S is priced at ₹11,89,999, which includes a Surface Hub 2 Camera and a Surface Hub 2 Pen, and will be available via authorised Hub resellers. Created specially for the device is a mobile stand on wheels made by Steelcase — and that’s priced at ₹1,17,500. The Steelcase Roam stand lets users move the Hub 2S around, changing its position or angle, and un-tethers it from merely being mounted on a wall.

To begin with, the Hub 2S is a gorgeous looking ‘device,’ if you can call a 50-inch screen that. It looks light and thin-bezelled, and rather floaty on its customised Roam stand. The stand has a battery compartment built into it so the Hub can be unplugged from the wall socket and moved about freely. It’s been designed to take inputs by touch, with a digital pen, and of course with virtual and physical keyboards as well.

Microsoft has designed to be something you can just walk up to and start using. On it, of course, are all Microsoft’s key software platforms: Windows 10, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Microsoft Whiteboard, and the intelligent cloud. It can face a conference area or be coaxed into a small meeting room. For today’s remote working scenario, it can become the hub, literally, where participants interact and control shared materials. With a single touch, meetings on Skype or Teams can be started up. The device has a 4K camera and far field microphone arrays to make it more natural to meet and work.

“We’ve expanded our Surface family to include not just devices designed for individuals, but also devices purpose-built for teams. In view of the current environment and more teams working remotely, the Surface Hub 2S seamlessly blends into any workspace. The Surface Hub 2S gives teams the mobility and flexibility to collaborate where they work best – whether in a conventional meeting scenario for brainstorms, or virtual meetings powered by Microsoft Teams. For businesses looking to bridge the gap and address different workstyles, the Surface Hub 2S is the perfect addition to enhance productivity, and as a boost to turn innovative ideas to reality,” said Rajiv Sodhi, COO, Microsoft India.

The Surface Hub is not a new concept now. Previous models have been in existence for a while now, since 2016. But this unique take on a smart whiteboard has evolved both in design and capabilities. The Microsoft Whiteboard software is now one dimension of several that come together on this digital canvas.

Published on May 19, 2020

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