Microsoft brings Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise to Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is enabling users to switch out the Windows 10 Team OS on their 50-inch Surface Hub 2S devices for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, as officials said they planned to do last year.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is making good on a promise from last year: It's enabling customers to use regular Windows 10 on their Surface Hub multi-touch large-display systems. Microsoft is allowing users to replace the custom Windows 10 Team operating system that is usually bundled with Surface Hub conferencing systems with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise.

In April 2019, Microsoft officials said they planned to offer users the option to run Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise on their Surface Hub 2S devices for specialized app scenarios. Today, September 1, Microsoft execs said users can now do this on the 50-inch version of the Surface Hub 2S.

"The Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise on Surface Hub 2 configuration enables customers to break the monotony of sitting at one's desk all day and allows our customers to stand, move around and meet with remote participants more naturally and invitingly," the blog post says.

Users who want to switch from Windows 10 Team to regular Windows 10 on their Hub 2S devices will lose some of the features optimized for Surface Hub conferencing systems. When running Pro or Enterprise, the Hub devices are no longer optimized for meeting spaces or Teams Certified. But they will gain other features by not being restricted to Windows 10 Team, such as the ability to run Win32/x64 apps and not just Microsoft Store apps, and the ability to use Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection. (Check out this chart comparing the capabilities users will get/lose in migrating from the Team OS to regular Windows 10.)

Microsoft will be adding Windows Hello biometric support to Hub 2S running regular Windows 10 via the Fingerprint Reader for the device and/or third-party Windows Hello accessories.

To install Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise on your Surface Hub 2S 50", users need the appropriate license and need to apply changes to the device's UEFI by enrolling your device in Surface Enterprise Management Mode (SEMM). These changes will unlock the device's factory settings that only allow the Windows 10 Team OS to run on Surface Hub 2S 50". More details on exactly how users can get this to work are in this Microsoft blog post.

I asked Microsoft today if the company also is still planning on delivering a Surface Hub 2 display (without compute), as officials indicated last year when announcing the plan to bring Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise to the Surface Hub. A spokesperson said the company had "nothing to share" on the Surface Hub 2 display.