On Friday Commercial Integrator announced that Microsoft was officially shipping the long awaited Surface Hub. It was our lead story on AVWeek Episode 239. As panelist Lindsey Adler of SCN noted, this really isn’t the story at this point. The real story will be once they begin getting integrated. Let me explain.
Two years ago at InfoComm 2014 Microsoft made a big splash by announcing they were going to exhibit at the annual U.S. meeting of AV professionals. Their booth space was unmatched by any other company at the show that year. Much speculation was written about what exactly the software giant was going to show. They ended up having couches and TVs broadcasting the World Cup. Nothing was being shown or demonstrated and it was much ado about nothing to say the least.
Then in 2015 at ISE and again at InfoComm Microsoft was finally ready to demonstrate their long-awaited entrance into AV with the Surface Hub. The 55 and 84 inch models were on full display. They touted built in apps, a camera to rival other VTC cameras, and 100 points of contact on the touch screen display. At the InfoComm show they also announced a number of partnerships with large integrators and distributors through which they would deliver the product. At that time it was said that delivery would begin in July 2015. That didn’t happen.
Neither did the subsequent delayed shipping time lines. It has been explained that a new product roll out is fraught with possible hurdles to overcome. I’m certain that Microsoft experienced at least a few of these. However, it is not unlike the boy who cried wolf and the wolf finally comes. The Surface Hub is finally here. Yippee?
The real story will now be the experience of both integrator and end user with this product. What will installation of the Surface Hub be? How will users put it to use it in the real world? What issues will they have and how will both Microsoft and the integrators respond to those issues? These are questions that do not have answers at this time but those answers will be what really makes the Surface Hub story come to conclusion.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.