The Surface Hub 2 looks like an amazing new device with all the high quality aspects of the Microsoft Surface family. For sure there is a lot of potential for this new large touchscreens for the modern workplace produced by Microsoft. But for a lot of companies waiting until 2019 is not an option as they want to start to transform the way their teams work right now.
What are the alternatives to waiting until 2019? Or, which options do you have?
Companies that already have a Surface Hub 1 can start to do more with these devices and companies that wanted to buy Surface Hub 1 can now switch to other “Windows Collaboration Displays” (WCD). Microsoft announced a new type of conference room display, supporting multi-touch, stylus input and clever sensors.
They are not Surface Hub’s. Brands like Sharp and AVACOR are providing the hardware (So it’s basically the same as the Hub 1 as it was not produced by Microsoft in the first place). Plus, this new device (WCD) embeds some of the technology we already found on the Hub 1.
The Hub 2 concept is rather different and some companies may not be ready for that yet. It’s a big bet from Microsoft as, if you look at the market, most devices look similar in terms of specs and functionalities.
The question is if companies really need to wait for the Surface Hub 2 to make meeting rooms smarter and collaboration more effective? Or are the new Windows Collaboration Displays valuable alternatives to the Surface Hub? It is difficult to answer this question now. The future will let us know.
I would say the answer is yes, they do not need to wait. If they already have Hubs, they can get this new device and start collaborating as this WCD will most probably be available this summer. If not, the question is if they are ready to “radicalize” their way of working with Hub2 or hop on with these already available devices which are, budget-wise, more approachable.
Microsoft started with the Surface Hub to create a new collaboration experience in modern meeting rooms. Together with Windows 10 this gave a boost to the whole market and companies are thinking more than ever to equip their meeting rooms with interactive touchscreens.
All of these devices have their pro’s and con’s but what unifies them is that people can work using multi-touch and stylus input to collaborate in a modern, smart meeting room.
Helping to make meetings smarter
Besides the hardware, software and user adoption are the key factors that determine if meeting rooms get smarter and meetings more effective. We at IBV are helping companies all over the world to increase the usage of Surface Hub 1 and Collaboration Displays and help people to transform the way they work together. We are doing that with a lot of experience from various customers we coached how to use the Surface Hub 1 and other touch devices.
We developed two apps CollaBoard and DocumentExplorer that help people to start the digital transformation of meetings together with their Windows Collaboration Device and any other large touchscreen.
Surface Hub and Windows Collaboration Display use cases with CollaBoard