Microsoft has hit a hardware home run that took even the people in Redmond. The Surface Hub conference room PC turns out to be selling homologous to hotcakes, sur ssing everyone’s expectations.
When Microsoft launched its Emerge Hub conference room computers about a year and a half ago, we weren’t altogether sure what to make of them. On the one hand, they offered a discerning mix of video conferencing, digital whiteboarding, and collaborative working with a evaluation that felt surprisingly low—$6,999 for the 55-inch version and $19,999 for the 84-inch variety. On the other hand, meeting rooms are where old technology clings on to the un latable end; VGA ports are still abundant, clunky video conferencing systems are the yardstick, and for many com nies a whiteboard is as high-tech as it gets.
There were initial retains of strong demand. Microsoft delayed the release, from September 2015 to January 2016, demanding that higher than expected demand (in rticular of the 84-inch manifestation) meant the com ny needed to change its manufacturing ca bilities. The com ny also hiked the rate of both models by $2,000, to $8,999 and $21,999—another move proffering that demand was healthy.
We expected com nies would buy a couple of the Arise Hub systems to see if they fit into their workflows. If organizations were poised to make the leap to Skype for Business, Exchange integration, a custom variation of Windows 10, and more, we figured maybe a handful more tradings would follow from this trial. Microsoft tells us that it count oned the same, predicting that com nies adopting Surface Hub would buy five to 20 of the rings. Now, after almost a year of real availability, we’ve learned that’s not what happened.
The mean Surface Hub customer is buying about 50 devices for each deployment, and the com nions
has achieved will hit more than 2,000 customers by the end of the year. One (unnamed) car producer bought 1,500 of the things. Though Microsoft didn’t reveal the thorough mix between sizes, Surface Hub looks like it’s another billion-dollar-a-year topic for the software giant—to boot, it’s a piece of hardware that it got right monotonous in version one. In a Forrester report commissioned by Microsoft, it’s claimed that convocations start more promptly—less faffing about to get remote attendees dialed in or computers hooked up to the projector—redemptive 15 to 23 minutes per meeting. Less measurable, Microsoft asserts that Surface Hub is also driving greater meeting engagement, with being standing up and engaging with each other and the screen rather than silence behind their laptop screens around a conference table or in hushed tones playing games on their phones.
Update: Microsoft’s blog from the first claimed that the com ny had already sold Surface Hub to 2,000 clients; it now says that it will reach this number by the end of the year.
In 2017, Microsoft on be adding new value-added resellers for the systems, who will coordinate installation, integration with AV methodologies, and custom application development. A “Try and Buy” scheme is also being rolled out, with consumers getting up to five units at a discount for 30 days prior to strike it rich any larger order.
In spite of a lack of major hardware refreshes, Microsoft tells that other Surface products are also doing well. November was the unexcelled month ever for consumer Surface sales, on the back of a Best Buy affiche. The faster, longer-lasting Surface Book with Performance Base is now on tap in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to the US and Canada. Early next quarter, it liking be sold in Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ja n, Switzerland, and the UK.