Industry On The Move: Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2S Redefines The Modern Office

For Seamless Employee Collaboration

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Steven Lerner

As a response to the rise of mobile workers, enterprises are leveraging new methods and technologies that encourage remote collaboration. Having unreliable devices in conference rooms with lagging video is no longer acceptable for many modern organizations.

Microsoft’s Latest Collaboration Tool

“People are spending more time collaborating than they ever have before,” said Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer. “Companies know this and are embracing new ways of working right now. At Microsoft, we want to deliver innovation in a way that moves people forward, not just technology. You must bring people together through tech. We’re bringing all of those capabilities together in one connected experience.”

On April 17, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Hub 2S, its latest interactive whiteboard that enables teamwork anywhere — connecting employees in remote locations. The Surface Hub 2S will be available to ship in June.

“It does for the collaboration device what the laptop did for the desktop,” said Panay.

The Surface Hub 2S is way more than just a stationary television situated in a conference room. The 50-inch screen whiteboard (3:2 display) is on a rolling stand (Microsoft claims it is lighter than the original version). Like a PC built on wheels, the Surface Hub 2S is very mobile. The device can work without a plug due to an extended battery life. Its screen incorporates multitouch sensing, includes anti-glare technology, has a custom 4K camera, has integrated speakers, and comes with a Surface Hub 2 pen.

The software is designed to support remote teams and encourage collaboration among workers in different locations. Users can video chat with remote employees while instantaneously sharing the whiteboard drawings with all of the collaborators. The device runs a custom version of Windows 10, and it includes numerous applications.

Microsoft also plans to release a special version of the Surface Hub 2 S that runs Windows 10 Pro or Windows Enterprise. Unlike the previous version, this device includes a capability known as “Surface Enterprise Management Mode,” that reportedly gives IT leaders control over firmware settings. It also allows them to disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, or restrict user access to the audio-visual menu.

What This Means For Enterprises

The decision to get the Surface Hub 2S rests with each enterprise. The device offers numerous capabilities, but with a starting price tag of $8,999, it’s understandable if an organization decided to select a different collaboration device instead.

Technology is enabling teamwork to spread across the enterprise. In the age of the mobile worker, the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S serves as another reminder about the importance of leveraging the right collaboration tools. Survey after survey reveals that IT leaders are taking more interest in the business impact of technology. Most enterprises cannot afford to fall behind competitors, so having the right collaboration tool can provide an incredible advantage.

When leveraged correctly, video and collaboration tools can unite remote workers and global teams, and encourage teamwork. In order to accomplish this, enterprises are realizing that the right devices (and apps) are needed in order to share data with team members. IT leaders are tasked with managing these apps and selecting the right devices for collaboration — whether that’s the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, or not.