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article imageDemand for Microsoft's $22k Surface Hub reportedly 'very strong'

By James Walker     Jul 22, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft's gigantic Surface Hub, retailing at $9,000 or $22,000 depending on the model, is reportedly selling very well and exceeding internal expectations. The touchscreen computer is designed for enterprise use, enabling collaboration and presentation.
Microsoft announced the Surface Hub last year. It is a 55-inch or 84-inch touchscreen designed to adorn seminar rooms in corporate environments. It runs its own version of Windows 10 and includes a selection of business-focused apps, as well as two Surface Pens to scribble on its huge display.
Skype for Business allows collaboration with remote workers, OneNote can be used to make notes during meetings and a giant whiteboard can be accessed to scribble down ideas. Surface Hub is meant to be the focal point of an enterprise environment, allowing for joint presentation and collaboration in a way a traditional projected PowerPoint can't allow.
When the device was unveiled, there were concerns it would be too expensive to attract customers. Microsoft even raised the price by $2,000 before launch, leading to a cost of $8,999 for the 55-inch model or $21,999 for the 84-inch. Despite the high prices, Surface Hub is reportedly seeing strong demand.
News site Petri heard from potential customers of the Surface Hub who were unable to obtain a device. After Petri contacted Microsoft about the availability issues, the company said it is having to increase production due to unexpectedly high sales that have exceeded internal forecasts.
"Demand for Surface Hubs is very strong and exceeded initial forecasts," Microsoft said in its statement. "To date, we've shipped to over 500 customers worldwide and that number continues to grow. We are ramping up production to meet this strong demand via our partner reseller channel as soon as possible. Customers are encouraged to speak with their sales representative if interested in ordering Surface Hubs."
Considering that 500 customers have purchased the costly devices, Microsoft appears to have created a hit with the Surface Hub. It should be noted that the number of individual devices sold could be substantially higher than the number of customers. Some companies may have bought tens or even hundreds of Hubs to deploy across their business. At up to $22,000 each, Microsoft is likely to be making substantial revenue from the product.
The Surface Hub isn't aimed at consumers, instead extending Microsoft's presence into the enterprise market. Although similar products are available from companies such as Cisco, as well as more traditional interactive whiteboards, Surface Hub's extensive integration with existing Microsoft services is appealing to businesses.
With Skype, OneNote and Office 365 available out of the box, Surface Hub is immediately able to access existing company files and servers, making it easier to use efficiently than rival solutions. Microsoft now needs to sort out its production problems to get the device into more workplaces.
More about Microsoft, Surface, surface hub, Windows, windows 10
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