27 February 2020
Microsoft made a big announcement back in 2018 as it introduced two generations of Surface Hubs – Hub 2S and the Hub 2X. On paper, the difference between the two appears quite clear but there are so many things that run in the back and may not be too transparent to us. We are talking about the delay in the launch of the Hub 2X, which is reportedly happening and there are even hearsays that this interesting tech may never make the cut.
The two Surface Hubs were introduced with the same basic functionality, high-end processor, high-resolution display, USB-C. But there is something that makes the Hub 2X different from the 2S and it is the special processor cartridge with the help of which the Hub rotates 90 degrees. The other interesting feature is tiling which means it can link multiple displays together as tiles so as to offer a single viewing area. Surface Hub 2X with these two features was scheduled to arrive in 2020 but this has reportedly been canceled.
First, Petri.com reported that the Surface Hub 2X is canceled and now the tipster WalkingCat has fueled it further by sharing some leaked snippets of a webinar. The tipster has shared three small recordings of the webinar where a representative from Microsoft can be seen talking about the priorities of 2020, and if the rotating and tiling is required.
"priorities" pic.twitter.com/yeEq1JO5tY— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) February 2, 2020
Microsoft said in the webinar that it’s still committed to developing tiling and rotation but it’s not clear when these features will arrive.
“They might not require an upgrade for Surface Hub 2S customers, or they might not require a paid compute cartridge swap,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in the webinar. “We don’t have plans to release a computer cartridge in 2020, because the best way to release those capabilities — tiling and rotation — may not require us to take that path.”
Microsoft is instead planning to release a “major software update” for Surface Hub and Surface Hub 2 customers, and the promised 85-inch Surface Hub 2S as well. This OS update will be based on Windows 10 20H1, according to what has been shared in the webinar. This new Surface Hub OS will be supported until 2025.
The Verge asked Microsoft for clarification around its Surface Hub 2X plans, but the company confirmed its plans for a software update only. A spokesperson said, “We have an ongoing dialogue with our customers on Hub and are working to align the roadmap to best meet their needs.”
“The top two priorities for Hub in 2020 are deploying the 85” device and rolling out an OS update that includes many top features customers have been requesting since Surface Hub 2S launched, including improving IT integration, deployment and management capabilities at no cost for all version 1 Hubs and Hub 2S devices. We’ll have more to share in the coming months.”
It sounds like Microsoft intends to deliver these features but there’s absolutely no timeframe decided yet. Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft at ZDNet has mentioned that one of her contacts said that Microsoft has been having some compatibility issues around the cartridge and this is the real reason for the delay.