Considering Microsoft is not a traditional hardware company, it is doing a good job. Indeed, Redmond’s products are a match even for Apple in terms of “want one” appeal. We are thinking of the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Surface Studio as desirable products. The Surface Hub can be thrown into that mix too. With demand for the Surface Hub rising, Microsoft has announced a Try-And-Buy program.
This program mostly does what it says on the tin. It allows customers the chance to test the Surface Hub for 30 days before committing to a purchase. Microsoft says the program is only open to specific reseller partners. Also, it seems this is reserved for customers/organizations that buy the Hub in bulk.
In an official blog post, the company says the Try-And-Buy program will roll out in the US and Europe this winter. The Asia Pacific market will also get the program, but sometime later in 2017.
Microsoft says the program reflects a boost in demand for the Surface Hub. Sales are up 20% with a payback period of nine months.
A February 2016 Forrester study found that ROI (return on investment) of integrating a Surface Hub into an organization was 138%.
Recently Microsoft has added the following features to the device:
- Inking support across Word, Excel and PowerPoint. People are loving using Pen on Surface Hub, now we let them do it in the most used Office apps!
- Support for simultaneous Pen and Touch. People, especially people that have used Surfaces, expect these things to work together. They do now!
- Save & recall Whiteboards directly through OneDrive. If we do important work together, let’s make sure we can save it and share it!
- Support for 3rd-party peripherals like BiAmp TesireForte CI, Jabra 810, Logitech Group, Logitech PTZ Pro and Polycom CX5100. We have amazing cameras and audio equipment people want to use in their conference rooms and exec offices. We now have more they can use!
- Preloading PowerBI, OneDrive, and Photos apps. Every Surface Hub user should be able to analyze data better, get to their files, and go through the teams’ images.
Back in July, Microsoft said sales of the Hub were outweighing demand. “Demand for Surface Hubs is very strong and exceeded initial forecasts,” the company said. “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.”
Available in two sizes (84-inch and 55-inch), the Surface Hub provides a large touch screen computer. It is designed to give businesses a teamwork solution with Microsoft-based services. The device comes with Full HD or Quad HD resolution, while Intel 4th generation i5 and i7 chipsets backed with 8GB of RAM is available.