Microsoft on Monday detailed a two-pronged debut for the second generation Surface Hub, the massive conference room computer concept, that will roll out over the next two years.
Surface Hub 2 will start shipping next year, but Microsoft is doing what it calls a “phased introduction with two unique experiences.” In the second quarter of 2019, Microsoft will roll out Surface Hub 2S, which is something of a bridge that runs the current Hub software and is “future-proofed” for an upgrade to the next release, Surface Hub 2X.
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In 2020, the 50.5-inch 2X arrives with the lofty tools showcased by Microsoft when it introduced the device earlier this year. The 2X features the ability to “tile” multiple devices together into one giant screen and is also more flexible than its predecessor, with options for vertical and horizontal orientation.
Microsoft said earlier this year that it sold more than 5,000 of the original Surface Hub devices to customers in 25 markets, including half of Fortune 100 companies. The original Surface, which came in 55 and 84-inch models, cost anywhere from $9,000 to $22,000.
Microsoft did not say how much Surface Hub 2 devices will cost.
Last year, Microsoft shut down the Wilsonville, Ore. plant 30 miles south of Portland, where it manufactured the device. Original Surface Hub devices aren’t available through Microsoft’s online store, although you can find them at resellers.