Surface Hub will not reach Taiwan at initial delivery
Although shipments of Microsoft Corp.’s Surface Hub conferencing system have been delayed from Sept. 1 this year to Jan. 1 next year, the large-screen tablet will remain out of reach for Taiwanese businesses.
Jacqui Miranda, regional director at Microsoft Asia Pacific, told a press briefing recently at Microsoft’s Technology Center in Singapore that the Surface Hub will be available in 24 markets when it begins shipping in early 2016.
Initial delivery of the Surface Hub, Microsoft’s successor to its large-screen Perceptive Pixel displays, will include only four AsiaPacific markets — Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The availability date for Taiwan has not yet been announced, Miranda said.
Asked if Microsoft will release Surface Hub orders to its Taiwanese assembly partners, Miranda said that the existing Surface Hub models showcased at the Microsoft Technology Center in Singapore are manufactured in the United States, and that the company currently has no plans to produce the device in other regions.
Microsoft began taking business pre-orders for the Surface Hub July 1, and the software giant notified its users Aug. 12 that the device will not begin shipping until Jan. 1 next year.
Running on the Windows 10 operating system, the Surface Hub provides a platform for building large-screen apps for group productivity, such as its built-in custom Office, OneNote and Skype for Business apps, according to Microsoft.
Offered in both 55-inch and 84-inch models, it features advanced technology for the modern workplace and the “flexibility to turn any room into a collaboration space,” Microsoft said.
Starting at US$6,999 for the 55-inch model and US$19,999 for the bigger version, the Surface Hub is touted by Microsoft as a price-competitive alternative to videoconferencing and digital whiteboard solutions, which can cost about US$38,000 for similar functionality to that of the 84-inch Surface Hub.
Both versions of Surface Hub are integrated with optically bonded displays capable of detecting 100 points of multi-touch and up to three simultaneous pen inputs, dual 1080p front-facing video cameras, and a four-element microphone array that detects and follows voices to eliminate background noise during videoconferencing sessions.
The Surface Hub also features built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a variety of ports for wired and wireless connectivity options, allowing users to share content to the screen from their smartphones or laptops.