Report of BI Chinese Station on April 5
As early as January 2015, Microsoft launched two important products at Raymond headquarters: Windows 10 and HoloLens, the most advanced holographic projection helmet.
Under these two brilliant products, Microsoft's Surface Hub, a huge Windows 10 tablet computer tailored for the conference room, is less noticeable. This product includes two models, one is 54 inches and the other is 84 inches.
After some delay, Microsoft finally started delivering Surface Hub to customers in March 2016. At last week's Build conference, I had the privilege to experience the 84-inch Surface Hub, which retailed for $22,000. I just want to say, it's just fantastic.
Tim Bakke of Microsoft Devices told me when I tried out Surface Hub that Microsoft intended to position Surface Hub as the core device in the conference room, even when other participants were not in the same room. It is similar to the teleconferencing system that people use now, but thanks to its unique intelligent functions, it is by no means comparable to the ordinary teleconferencing system.
On the surface, Surface Hub looks like a huge, beautiful TV that can output ultra-high definition video. Its side is equipped with some high-definition cameras, infrared sensors and speakers. Inside the device, the 84-inch Surface Hub is equipped with a customized version of Intel i7 processor.
Buck says they want everything to start as quickly as possible. Microsoft has customized a special version of Windows 10 for this product, which makes it easier to complete its three major functions.
By pressing a button, you can open Microsoft OneNote like a whiteboard, talk to distant participants via Skype, or project images from a Windows 10 PC onto Surface Hub's desktop.
When I tried Surface Hub, all of these functions worked well. And it can be seen that Microsoft did spend a lot of time on details.
For example, Surface Hub is equipped with two Surface Pen stylus. Users can choose to log on to any of these stylus through their corporate e-mail accounts, so that you know which ideas were put forward by which employee.
Another feature is that the Skype control bar will always appear on both sides of the screen, which means that users can call someone in a second and pull them into the work you're doing. Because this is Skype, you probably already know how to use it skillfully.
But in my opinion, Surface Hub's best design is its Windows 10 foundation. Despite its size, Surface Hub can run any application in Windows Store, even those that have never been optimized for very large screens.
Although Windows Maps apps are not designed for 84-inch displays, it's wonderful to run them on Surface Hub and see the world and the places on the super-large screen.
For business users, it is more intimate that Surface Hub can run all Windows software, that is to say, business users can use existing productivity applications to complete their work on a large screen.
Buck demonstrated a Windows 10 Kanban job management application that allows employees to vote on project priorities on their smartphones and then send the results to the big screen.
For non-Windows 10 applications, Surface Hub allows you to send Windows PC or mobile desktop images to a large screen in real time, so that you can express your ideas in detail. It is also compatible with most Android phones and tablets.
In short, Surface Hub clearly reflects Microsoft's philosophy. For developers, it's another place to sell Windows 10 applications; for Microsoft, it's another way to promote Windows 10 and even Microsoft Azure cloud services; and for enterprise users, it's more efficient.
Surface Hub is expensive, but working on this huge screen can give you unexpected pleasure, especially when it looks good.