Microsoft has shipped at least 100,000 Surface Hubs since the product was unveiled in June 2015. Although Microsoft refused to disclose the actual number of units sold, it did say that more than 2,000 customers in 24 markets have bought the collaboration and video conferencing device, with an average deal size of 50 units.
For companies interested in purchasing a Surface Hub, Microsoft has also introduced a “Try and Buy” program which allows resellers to let customers test the device for 30 days before committing to buy. The program will go live this winter in the US and Europe. Users can test either the 55- or 84-inch device before making a purchase decision.
Microsoft is also working on a program that will let users work with resellers to implement custom installations of the Surface Hub dubbed “Value Added Distributors for Opportunity Resellers” or VADOR. For example: customers and resellers can design distinct audio/visual setups for large conference rooms or customers can work with resellers to provide continuous training for their respective workforces. The intent is for customers to work with one specific partner to buy, install, train employees, and customize use cases for the Surface Hub, according to Julia Atalla, Senior Director of Surface Commercial Marketing at Microsoft.
The Surface Hub will now include inking support across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as support for simultaneous Pen and Touch. Microsoft’s PowerBI, OneDrive, and Photos applications will now be pre-loaded onto every Surface Hub.
Microsoft said it is ramping up sales of the $8,999, 55-inch, full HD model and the $21,999, 84-inch, 4K model. Today’s announcement comes at an important time for the manufacturer. Last month, Google introduced its own collaboration kiosk—Google Jamboard—which is built on Google’s G Suite collaboration platform.
Jamboard is an unabashed Microsoft Surface Hub competitor; however, Jamboard is also only $6,000 and it comes standard with 55-inch 4K monitor. This means Microsoft will be facing stiff competition for customers who haven’t tied themselves to the Windows ecosystem. Jamboard is scheduled to be released at some point in 2017.
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