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Microsoft cancels Surface Hub 2X launch, promises ‘major’ software update instead

Microsoft cancels Surface Hub 2X launch, promises ‘major’ software update instead


The special processor cartridge is no longer launching this year

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Microsoft is no longer planning to release its special Surface Hub 2X processor upgrade cartridge this year. The software giant was planning to allow Surface Hub 2S owners to upgrade to this cartridge, improving the processor and GPU inside. It was also part of how Microsoft would enable tiling and rotation support on the Surface Hub 2, a big feature the company originally unveiled last year.

In a leaked webinar to Surface Hub 2 sellers, Microsoft says 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 compute cartridge in 2020, because the best way to release those capabilities — tiling and rotation — may not require us to take that path.”

Instead, Microsoft is now planning to release a “major software update” for Surface Hub and Surface Hub 2 customers and its larger 85-inch device. It will be based on the first 2020 release of Windows 10, and include more IT-friendly integration, deployment, and manageability features. Microsoft is releasing this update free of charge for all Surface Hub v1 and Surface Hub 2S devices, whereas the 2X processor cartridge upgrade would have only been available for Surface Hub 2S devices.

While this update will be based on the latest Windows 10 release, it will not be based on the company’s modern Windows Core OS platform that will power Windows 10X devices like the Surface Neo. The compute cartridge (2X) was supposed to update the Surface Hub 2S to this more modern OS, but it’s not entirely clear whether that will ever arrive now. Microsoft’s plans to turn the Surface Hub 2S display into a monitor for other devices to connect to is still planned for 2020, though.

We reached out to Microsoft for clarification around its Surface Hub 2X plans, but the company would only confirm its plans for a software update this year. “We have an ongoing dialogue with our customers on Hub and are working to align the roadmap to best meet their needs,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “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.”