Microsoft invited select press and analysts to a an April 17 event in New York City that's expected to showcase its first wave of its new Surface Hub 2 conferencing systems. Microsoft already announced the Surface Hub 2S in the fall of 2018, but only provided limited details about the product.
"Microsoft and Steelcase invite you to experience new ways to work better, together," says the invitation. Steelcase has been working with Microsoft on office furniture and accessories like rolling frames and mounts for its Surface Hub.
Microsoft's original plan was to roll out its Surface Hub 2 conferencing system some time in 2019. At Ignite in September 2018, Microsoft updated that timeline by staggering the rollout of the promised device over a two-year period, with the new hardware coming first and the next-generation software and services for the platform in 2020.
Microsoft officials said they planned to deliver a first iteration of the Surface Hub 2 in the second calendar quarter of 2019. This will be the 50.5-inch, 4K-plus multi-touch system designated as the Surface Hub 2S.
In 2020, Microsoft will update the same Surface Hub 2 hardware it introduces in 2019 with a system refresh. The garage in the back of the Surface Hub 2 device which holds the computing unit will allow users to slip in a 2X module. This module will update the Surface Hub 2 with a number of the features that Microsoft initially promised would be part of the Surface Hub 2 in 2019.
The 2X will run Microsoft 365 -- Microsoft's bundle of Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Management + Security. The 2X release also will support dynamic rotation, multi-user authentication, tiling and other features Microsoft has been touting as coming with Surface Hub 2.
Also: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for creatives in 2019 CNET
I'm hearing Microsoft's April event will be focused on the Surface Hub 2S, not any new Surface PCs. I'm expecting to hear more specifics on pricing, SKUs, and availability. Word is that Chief Product Officer Panos Panay will be on hand in New York to headline the event.
For anyone thinking or hoping this event might be where Microsoft talks about or shows off the rumored dual-screen Microsoft "Centaurus" device, I'm hearing from my contacts that this is not happening at the April New York event. If Centaurus eventually does ship (possibly running Windows Lite), I'm betting 2020 is the more likely timeframe for such a device to be generally available.