Sur­face Hub will not reach Tai­wan at ini­tial de­liv­ery

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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