Facepalm: Microsoft promised in May that its next Surface Hub would be rotatable and could be scaled by tiling multiple devices together. That's still true, but you'll now have to pay extra to unlock those features (and wait at least another year for them).
Set to arrive starting next year, the massive screens aim to further the team-based collaborative culture taking root in workplaces around the globe.
At its Ignite conference on Monday, the Redmond-based tech giant revealed that the second-gen Surface Hub will actually arrive as a multi-tiered platform.
The Surface Hub 2S is scheduled to land in the second quarter of 2019 and will offer a familiar Surface Hub experience in a lighter, thinner and more vibrant design compared to the original. In 2020, Microsoft will release updates that allow customers to update to what’s called Surface Hub 2X. This update, enabled via removable processor cartridges that plug into the back of the Surface Hub 2, adds the ability to rotate displays and tile them together to create larger workspaces.
We’ve seen upgrades like this in the past – namely Samsung’s Smart Evolution kit for televisions – that use modular hardware to boost performance and add additional functionality over time. It’s a novel concept, in theory, but as Samsung proved, it didn't make much sense for televisions. That’s not to say Microsoft won’t find success with it on a smaller scale but more of an observation about modular hardware and add-ons in general.
Microsoft said it will share more news on Surface Hub 2 in the coming months.