Current Surface Hub Options for Skype for Business Online & Teams

The Microsoft Surface Hub has been a popular choice for a next generation collaboration device for Skype for Business & Teams with it’s immersive and feature rich meeting experiences.  As organizations migrate to the cloud and look to upgrade their collaboration devices, this quick post addresses a common question -  does the shipping version of Surface Hub support Microsoft Teams, and is it worth waiting for the newly announced Surface Hub 2.0?

If you are not familiar with the Microsoft Surface Hub collaboration experience, there are some quick videos here which illustrate the power of this device within a meeting room setting.

Surface Hub 2 Not Widely Available Until 2019

Earlier this spring, Microsoft announced, the second generation of this device: the Surface Hub 2: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/surface/business/surface-hub-2.  This generated a lot of buzz given the success of the existing Surface Hub and the beautiful dazzling graphics and capabilities announced in the forthcoming version 2.

The first thing to know is that if your timeline is this calendar year (2018), the Surface Hub 2 is out of the question unless you are part of a select few commercial customers willing to engage with Microsoft to test it in the later half of 2018.  Simply put the Surface Hub 2 will not be available for purchase until 2019.  Microsoft has not publically released a specific date in 2019.

Does the Surface Hub 1 Support Teams Today?

Support for the Surface Hub has been on the Teams roadmap (under Meetings) for sometime, and slated for “Q2 CY2018″.  Indeed, on June 27, 2018, Microsoft announced a Microsoft Teams Surface Hub app in the Microsoft Store that allows Teams to run on a Surface Hub. This Teams app was initially released in preview and not recommended for production, but on Sept 18, 2018, it was made Generally Available :  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-surface-hub.

A bigger challenge however with the Surface Hub 1, is availability.  In many areas in North America, such as Canada, any remaining inventory that suppliers had of the Surface Hub 1 are depleted or spoken for, and it can be really difficult, if not impossible to get one.  This includes big suppliers such as CDW and AVI-SPL.

You can easily search for a list of authorized re-sellers based on your location, here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/business/where-to-buy-microsoft-surface?site=SurfaceHub.

Note: when you install the Surface Hub app, there is an installation package available (here), which allows you to set the preferred default application to use on the Hub:

So, What to Do?

If you are set on getting a Surface Hub before 2019, can find an existing Surface Hub 1, and do not need production Teams support, going that route is a good idea.  Otherwise,  it would make sense to hold of until 2019 when version 2 is ready, and Teams support will be more production ready.

There has been no price divulged for the Surface Hub 2, but there is plenty of chatter that will be competitive with the Google Jamboard which is around $6,000 USD.

The other option, either outright instead of the Surface Hub or to bridge the gap until 2019, is the Microsoft Skype Room System (SRS).  They are fantastic conference room collaboration systems pre-packaged from 5 vendors: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/room-systems/.   They support Skype and Teams (on the SRS v2), and can always be redeployed into another conference room if a Surface Hub is purchased later.

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