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Introducing Surface Hub 2 (microsoft.com)
259 points by remir 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 121 comments

The thing Microsoft seems to get is that you can keep grinding on these devices even if they aren't smash hits. Eventually people like me start to consider them a viable alternative because we know they aren't going to give up on them like Google.

Zune. Surface RT. Kinect. Windows Phone. Band. Just naming some things that I've personally purchased and Microsoft no longer supports. They are no better than Google at continuing to support their products.

Zune: introduced 2006; discontinued: 2012; support ended 2015 (9 years)

Surface RT: introduced: 2012; Discontinued: 2013; Windows support ends 2023 (11 years)

Kinect: introduced 2010; discontinued: 2015 for windows; 2017 for xbox; still supported (no date announced AFAICT)

Windows phone: introduced: 2010; last release 2015; windows phone os support ended 2017 (7 years)

Band: introduced 2014; discontinued 2016; still supported (no date announced AFAICT)

They gave up on band and RT pretty quickly... but they still supported those users.. a 2012 laptop will probably be dead by the time Windows RT support ends.

Just for comparison.. google is only 20 years old. Android is only 10 years old. Which products of Google's are you thinking of that failed and were supported for a decade? When Google Reader died, users got 3 1/2 months warning. Which Microsoft product got 3 1/2 months warning before ending support?

I understand why google has their support policy, and I'm not passing judgement here... but microsoft definitely supports their products longer, and that has a real cost to microsoft, and they deserve some credit for that.

That support means just security updates. I have bought a Lumia 820 and then Lumia 950 and the "real" updates stopped happening after only 1.5 to 2 years. Lumia 820 did not get Windows 10 update (although officially promised by Microsoft).

Is Lumia 950 still supported? On the paper, yes. But there are no new features, only security updates. When we bought Microsoft ecosystem hardware, software-wise they had a long way to go until they caught up with Android and iOS, but we saw the potential, they were releasing new features to catch up with the rest of the competition. When updates stopped after just 1.5 years, we ended up with half baked products.

I am not even mentioning the investment I did as a developer to develop Windows Mobile apps.

Sorry but I am not giving any credits to Microsoft. They tried to make money on short term, and when they couldn't, they abandoned users.

I can give credits to the Microsoft engineers though, they created a great operating system and a great SDK which works on all screen sizes, with different hardware and with any input type. And you can develop an application using both native technologies or the first class citizen web technologies.

So your problem is that the product, as you purchased, works just as well as the day you bought it, and continues to get security updates? You seem to be upset about things that it was not and will never be, and not anything that it was that it no longer is.

My reply was simply an answer to the claim that Microsoft's approach deserves credits when compared to Google's support to their products. And I explained why the situation with Microsoft products are similar, not better, compared to Google's support approach.

And from law point of view, Microsoft of course did not break any laws by not updating the phones. But when announcing Windows 10 Mobile phones, emphasising that the phones now have the same operating system as desktop counterparts and hence they will get the same updates, and not delivering this feature, is worth to be upset about.

I don't agree that Microsoft is worse than Google, but if you want an example:


"After only forty-eight days on the market, Microsoft discontinued the Kin line on June 30, 2010"

"In January 2011, Microsoft shut down the kin.com website, which controlled most of the earlier phones' features..."

The Kin actually had some pretty innovative for the time cloud features as well.

Just to put the Kin in context, they appeared to only have sold about 500 units [1] total. That's far below the typical absolute volume of users abandoned in most end-of-life scenarios. Microsoft's commitment to support is much longer than most similar tech lifecycles.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-only-sold-503-kin-p...

>Surface RT: introduced: 2012; Discontinued: 2013; Windows support ends 2023 (11 years)

Disingenuous. 1 Year, not 11. It may be receiving some critical security patching but the RT is absolutely an unsupported, forgotten, isolated and largely unusable piece of hardware, and has been for several years now.

Support != continued development. It means they support the last existing iteration of the software on the device, providing only security updates and assistance with features existing in that last version of the software.

When you buy a product like a Windows RT device, you don't just expect it to be supported, you expect it to be part of a growing ecosystem of products and services. That is not what happened with Windows RT. The fact it was dropped so quickly shows it was very half-baked, despite how long it may be supported.

Yup, mostly because unlike other similar devices, the RT was limited to only what was available within the store, and within that only those items specifically targeting the RT.

It's not even as good a situation as you have with things like the google play or apple stores, as the architecture restricted the ecosystem.

Example: There are pretty much no browser options on Surface RT other than an obsoleted IE. Certainly no Chrome or Firefox. Even 'supported for five minutes' cheapie android tablets are better than that, and this thing was shipped by Microsoft?

UWP apps can be marked as "RT Compatible" and they should also run. You won't get any Xbox Games, but you'll be able to get... checks microsoft store ...Candy Crush looks like the best thing on there.

Windows 10 Mobile is supported until December 2019.

Re. Kinect for Windows, manufacturing was switched from a separate Windows-only SKU to an adapter that could be shared across Xbox and Windows, however even that ended in 2018, giving Kinect 8 years of sales: https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/2/16842072/xbox-one-kinect-ad...

The last SDK release for Windows was SDK 2.0 in 2014, whose page now says:

> Manufacturing of the Kinect sensor and adapter has been discontinued, but the Kinect technology continues to live on in products like the HoloLens, Cortana voice assistant, the Windows Hello biometric facial ID system, and a context-aware user interface.

> Microsoft is working with Intel to provide an option for developers looking to transition from the Kinect for Windows platform. Microsoft will continue to provide support for the Kinect for Windows SDK via our online forums, premiere and paid technical support. As developers transition from Kinect hardware, Microsoft encourages developers to look into Intel's RealSense depth cameras.


For those who find this comment later via Google, there are libraries that support both Microsoft and Intel depth cameras: https://github.com/jing-interactive/Cinder-DepthSensor

As noted later in this comment thread, there now exists Project Kinect for Azure: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/kinect/ To me, this sounds like Microsoft using the Kinect and Azure IOT brands to provide their own SDK/hardware for Intel RealSense cameras, but it's unclear what the tech. is under the hood. It's certainly not compatible with older Kinect sensors and the old SDKs.

Groove music. Had like a couple months heads up before it was shuttered. There might be others, but that is the one I remember.

> Surface RT: introduced: 2012; Discontinued: 2013; Windows support ends 2023 (11 years)

"Support" here doesn't mean much if there are no new features, nobody driving an ecosystem making applications.

It's like the slow death of Blackberry 10 and the Palm Pre.

Compared to Google Reader, I very, very strongly prefer slow deaths.

Google reader was a web application. Every time you accessed it, Google was paying for it. You already paid for your Windows RT device.

And they are not taking your Surface RT either. You can keep using it for ever, in the same state as it was when you purchased it, just don't expect new features.

How long until you are unable to update your digital certificates? Or the certificates used to sign the apps you run are no longer valid and the apps cease to function?

For a company that has been there for about 40 years, I would say that this list is quite small compared to Google. Google deprecate product way faster, look at the lineup of communication/chat products in the last decade which is bigger than the list you posted.

Zune, Band and Surface RT are still functional with running back-end infrastructure (except for 1st party music purchases on Zune).

Kinect is not dead, it still works on xbox/windows and they released a new enterprise offering just this past month.

That's about it, though. All companies discontinue products, but Microsoft keeps them around for a lot longer than most.

The Surface RT is probably making a comeback, as several Windows ARM tablets were just released. It was just early to market.

Nah they can do full windows on arm now, no need to go the hobbled route

> Surface RT

Let's not forget the original Surface.

Does anyone support financially unsuccessful products? I think Google gets a bad rap because a) it can kill products with large amounts of users that still aren't valuable enough to the bottom line or company strategy, and b) it can't seem to focus behind one way to solve a problem. Whereas we don't knock hardware companies as much, because the thing has a finite lifespan and more or less continues to work for its useful life.

Windows RT — were there any users to miss it? I loved Windows Phone, but I was surprised Microsoft didn't kill it sooner.

As a Mac user in the Pro market this is what I currently admire about MS over Apple.

MS genuinely seems to be trying hard to scratch the itches of people in the workplace and more importantly sticking with it while Apple couldn't even commit correctly to a screenless pro desktop.

So many people in the Apple circles made fun of the Surface line, but look at Apple now the iPad Pro with it's keyboard and pen is a direct response and attempt to imitate that niche MS worked hard to carve.

Definitely got my eyes on Surface line with how bad my experience with the USB-C MBP has been, 6 months in both my command key and return key are screwed.

Google kills a lot of consumer stuff, but their Chromebooks and meeting hardware definitely aren't consumer stuff.

What gives you the idea they'd just kill something like the Jamboard?

Uh, Google very often keeps grinding on stuff that doesn't succeed, although often the brand dies and either a new one is born or the tech gets rolled into something else (sometimes, even before the old brand goes away).

Sure, e.g. Nexus Q never got a general release after the I/O preview model under that branding... But instead of “Nexus Q 2” we got “Chromecast” and “Nexus Player” and...

I _love_ that Microsoft seems to prefer 3:2 displays over 16:9/16:9 displays!

If we get really lucky we might even see 4:3 displays again some day in the future.

4:3 displays are too boxy for mobility, I really think 3:2 should be the new standard, especially for tablets, it's just perfect.

I prefer 4:3 for tablets, but I'm glad we can all agree that 16:9 was a mistake. Even 16:10 would have been better as a standard.

I haven no strong feelings personally one way or the other, so could you enlighten me as to why 16:9 is a mistake, or why 4:3 is preferred?

16:9 doesn't offer enough vertical space compared to the horizontal space required. Basically, it's bad for small screens (like my 12 inch laptop) because you get almost no vertical space. Apple agrees with this and uses 16:10 on their laptops, which is slightly better. At least I think they do.

16:9 flipped the other way, like a smartphone, offers a lot of vertical space and almost no horizontal space. You basically can't have two apps next to each other because there isn't enough horizontal space.

Basically, I want to have two things open next to each other on my screen. I can do this on 16:9 screens with a high enough resolution, but 3:2 or 4:3 with the same width offers me more height. Which I want. Less scrolling.

I'm sure there are people that prefer 16:9 though. At the end of the day it's personal preference.

I hope this rambling makes sense.

> I'm sure there are people that prefer 16:9 though.

16:9 is the most common resolution of DVD/Blu-Ray and other movie formats. It's great for movies, and the people that hate letter-boxing black bars and mostly don't understand aspect ratios are always going to prefer 16:9.

(Though ironically movies have plenty of non-16:9 widescreen content these days, so the complaints of letter-boxing by the people that hate letter-boxing and don't understand aspect ratios have started back up.)

It's not a great reason to prefer to 16:9, but "doesn't have black bars when I watch Netflix videos" is a surprisingly common request.

It's not an unreasonable position to take.

One of my favorite things about my iPads 4:3 screen is watching 4:3 content on it without black bars, so I get it.

> I'm sure there are people that prefer 16:9 though.

It also depends on the size of the display. For a small 11" display I'd love to see a 4:3 (or even 1:1) screen to give me a lot of physical height for reading while keeping the device small.

On a large 17" laptop I might actually be work with a 16:9 screen because the display is already tall enough to offer a lot of room for reading.

Yeah that's a good point. Resolution matters as well. My 27" 1440p monitor gives me more than enough height even though it's 16:9. Perhaps the same would be true of a small 1440p screen. I've never had a laptop with a higher resolution than 1080p so I wouldn't know.

I love that Microsoft manages to insert a "Clippy" like modal on top of the marketing page while I'm watching the video. I mean at least fix the squished text in that graphic ya'll. https://i.imgur.com/V5iKhi3.jpg

I know. I couldn't figure out how to close it too.

I noticed this too and was very disappointed.

I would love a Surface Hub, I tried to buy one and couldn't because they were only available to 'qualified' customers (something an individual apparently never could be).

Now with 4K (or 8K!) displays it becomes completely credible to replace a white board with one. And the benefits of the shared whiteboard and presence is really solid when working with someone who isn't local.

The software infrastructure investment is immense however. And while I would love to see an open source version of this I doubt such a thing would ever exist. You need a video conferencing component, a drawing/archiving/sharing component, hardware that can accelerate the drawing function to avoid lag, and significant bandwidth to host both video and images being swapped updated in real time.

> I tried to buy one and couldn't because they were only available to 'qualified' customers

You can order one from CDW right now[0]. They did initially only open them up to Microsoft Partners with a certain level, but that was many years ago now.

I will say that a Surface Hub is much more useful when used as part of AD/O365. Since Skype for Business is a major selling point and not really useful to the individual. Using it as a glorified e-whiteboard isn't its strongest feature, it is a fantastic meeting/collaboration tool.

[0] https://www.cdw.com/product/Microsoft-Surface-Hub-touch-surf...

Of the two I'd like the 84" one, its got the 4K screen, the 1920 x 1080 screen of the smaller one doesn't allow for a good drawing experience. CDW also claims to sell that one for about 30% over list from the Microsoft site.

And while I get the relabeled Teams stuff as Skype for Business I would assume it is also compatible with Skype for humans :-).

In my home lab I would use it for collaboration with remote folks, brainstorming, video watching, program planning and parts location storing. In my fantasy world I select a component or assembly I need and it shows the layout of the lab with an arrow indicating where that piece is stored, the last time it was known to be there, and perhaps re-order information.

[0] https://www.cdw.com/product/Microsoft-Surface-Hub-touch-surf...

> And while I get the relabeled Teams stuff as Skype for Business I would assume it is also compatible with Skype for humans :-).

I don't believe it is. Skype and S4B, apart from the common name, have literally nothing in common with each other. Skype for Business is just a rebranded Lync, which is a rebranded Office Communicator.

The new board uses Teams conferencing which IIRC is also incompatible with Skype for Business (it's meant to replace it).

Teams and S4B can sort of communicate but its more broken than it works. If a user is signed out of teams, but signed into S4B, the message might go to teams instead. Sometimes teams continually fragments S4B messages into new convos.

you can not order one right now, out of stock

this got downvoted but its true. you cannot order a 55in surface hub at the moment, from anyone.

Sage2 [0] is one open source option with support for both the remote collaboration and whiteboard components, although it's more focused on larger arrays of average resolution screens. I've used it and it's quite functional, even if not as polished as Microsoft's offering.

[0] http://sage2.sagecommons.org/

Ok that looks like a good start!

While I agree the benefits of the shared whiteboard sound nice, I much prefer the feel of drawing on a whiteboard over touch screens. Plus, whiteboards are much cheaper.

It's nice until you need to do any remote collaboration with whiteboarding there's not really a good way to allow someone on the phone to interact with people in the room. Even with a camera the remote person has to describe anything they want to add to the whitebaord diagram. I think that's where there's no real substitute for being there in person at the moment in most offices because digital whiteboards have never really caught on.

Am I the only one who sees this and wishes Microsoft was still doing something in the phone space?

I spent some of BUILD trying to nudge rumors out of folks. I wasn't successful, but I tried, because I care and because I was one of the few people left with a 950 in my pocket.

Most employees I talked to about it had already fallen into switching to Android, but there were some near tears about it. The only "official" Microsoft answer about it I got (from multiple people, so it sounded like a "Party line" and thus why it felt "official") was that "Microsoft was just too late to the market".

A lot of slides still had phone-sized devices on them, though admittedly some of that was probably just graphics reuse from previous years. Fluent Design documents all still reference phone-sized and phablet-sized devices (and even Band-sized devices).

I enjoy chasing all the rumors on CShell progress, as that does sound like a key to future mobile support. (The one time I think I got close to a wink/nod sort of thing about it at BUILD was when I responded to that "too late" party line with "Or was it just too early for Windows 10 on mobile? CShell was expected to be developed faster than it has turned out to be, hasn't it?".)

I know a lot of people seem to be enchanted with Surface Phone rumors, especially the recent "Courier" folding/multi-screen concepts we've seen from Patent applications.

Personally, I've been excited about "HoloPhone" rumors, some of which I believe I started accidentally by connecting obvious dots, and just hear come back to me through the telephone process of rumor mills. Alex Kipman of Kinect/HoloLens is rumored to be the owner of whatever the next mobile/handheld computing device project is, so I certainly expect some Mixed Reality/Holograms fun.

Anyway, nothing but rumors and hope, but as someone that's been on the platform forever (my last non-Windows phone/handheld computer was an iPhone 3GS, a million years ago), I want to believe, as crazy as that is getting to sound.

You are not alone. I don't just hope, but more like depend on it. I probably will fall back to an old-style phone if my Lumia 950 dies out. It will be hard for me to get used to the underutilized screen estate iOS and Android offers.

I want Microsoft to make a Surface phone...that runs Android but has Microsoft everything on it. Cortana, Office, the Microsoft Launcher etc all baked in. Sure some people might switch it back to Google services, but who cares? Maybe even allowing Android apps to run on Windows and accessible in the Microsoft Store and have your own app store on Android bypassing Google.

No you are not. With a docking station and windows phone you could have a really solid portable computer.

I think the dream for a lot of people is a Surface Phone, built on Android.

From a privacy standpoint it'd probably be absolute hell, but the build quality of every Surface product I've used has been phenomenal, so if they could translate this to a flagship phone with features they'd run away with a good portion of the market.

The flagship market seems pretty desperate at the moment, with choosing a top-tier phone being a game of choosing what feature you could live without instead of having the features you want.

My SP4 is still working okay but my wife's SP3 had the keyboard stop working for no apparent reason. It's actually the device itself since my keyboard won't work on hers either.

why dont they build an android phone and ship their own version of Google Play Services and Android Runtime based on .Net Framework?

If phones had Android Runtime and .Net framework they would be Windows and Android phones to most users.

Far from it. There are plenty of us still dreaming of a Winphone resurrection.

I'm still hoping...

The company I work for has maybe 20+ of the 1st generation version in our office. We even have a few of the 84 inch models. I have to say they are great to work with when you are collaborating with people and need to use a white board, video conference, or just view a web application. I can't stand using one of the few conference rooms here that does not have one anymore.

The music composition on this video sounds eerily similar to Final Fantasy 7's main theme. These sections specifically:

* Surface Hub 2: https://youtu.be/7DbslbKsQSk?t=1m34s

* FF7 Main Theme: https://youtu.be/nPSdaQW97rA?t=58s

It's a fairly generic motif.

Beat me to it! I started whistling it just as the video ended.

Anyone have a guess what it costs to tile 4 of those 4K multi-touch displays like shown in the video?

That would make a heck of a desktop.

As the old saying goes, if you have to ask, you cant afford it. :( you and me both

I don't have to ask, and I can't afford it.

Taking google results for the surface hub 1: $9,172.99 · Insight $6,499.99 · www.widgetree.comFree shipping, no tax $8,999.00 · Mobile AdvanceFree shipping $10,815.43 · Aztek ComputersFree shipping

Average = 8871 Give them 35% premium for the new one (simple numbers guess based on the fact that the new one will cost somewhat more) = 11976 Multiple by 4

$47904 for a 4x display of Surface Hub 2s.

Doesn't mean I can afford it. :)


"The new Surface Hub 2 is sleeker, more agile and more affordable to fit any workspace or work style."

No info on exactly how much more affordable.

Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft (but not on this).

Indeed. The current 55" 1080p Surface Hub is $10-12K.

The image staying still as the screen rotates is gimmicky but being able easily to move and spread content between multiple Surface Hubs could be really useful.

I wouldn't say it's gimmicky, I wish actual Windows did this. How Windows handles rotation is a bit sloppy.

I'm not sure how replies work on Hacker News and if you'll get a notification of my reply further down in the stack, but here's my uneducated napkin math on how I get to ~$50k

I don't have to ask, and I can't afford it. Taking google results for the surface hub 1: $9,172.99 · Insight $6,499.99 · www.widgetree.comFree shipping, no tax $8,999.00 · Mobile AdvanceFree shipping $10,815.43 · Aztek ComputersFree shipping

Average = 8871 Give them 35% premium for the new one (simple numbers guess based on the fact that the new one will cost somewhat more) = 11976 Multiple by 4

$47904 for a 4x display of Surface Hub 2s.

Doesn't mean I can afford it. :)

Wouldn't having the camera at the top of such a large screen (in portrait as demo-ed in the video) exacerbate the lack of eye content in a video call? If it's noticeable on a laptop sized screen I can't imagine how off-putting it would be on this.

Idea: make the camera tiny (smartphone-like) and put it on suction cup. To pick up a call you don't tap a button; you grab it and put it on the screen on the other person's forehead (like a Bindi). To hang up, you pick it up and put it on a holder on the side of the screen. Boom.

Privacy? Check. Camera faces you only when your'e using it. Positioning? Check. Camera is closer to other person's eyes. Intuitiveness? Check. Like picking up a phone.

Wireless charging, alarm if it gets far away, etc etc.

I love this idea! I'm sending it to some Cisco engineers I know.

Sweet! Wish I was in the hardware space myself hahah (:

Video calls from a conference room with a dedicated below-screen camera are far better than from a laptop, IME.

Any given person in the other room is generally small enough on the screen that them looking at the screen instead of the camera is fine. But I'm not sure if a more overhead angle would be as good.

I think it comes down to the difference between eye lines and distance more than anything like the camera's placement above or below the screen. With a laptop any location the difference between looking at screen and camera is pretty drastic because it's pretty close to the user. In a conference room people are generally much farther away and smaller so it's harder to see the difference between looking at the screen and the camera.

It seems like the camera is detachable and can be placed anywhere. Probably has a clip, that's why they didn't build it into the bezel.

Perhaps they can process the image; We already do it with document scans from off-angle.

Wouldn't this require repositioning the person's eyes in the video? Not saying that isn't doable..

I doubt they're doing that, but it can be done realtime. Here's an example that runs in your browser, just move your mouse around and her eyes track it. http://alteredqualia.com/xg/examples/gaze_dolores.html

[Edit: Disclaimer, I work at MS but not on Surface. I also don't know if there is post-processing applied to the video I linked, so maybe it can't be done realtime.]

Thank you for the link - that's pretty awesome.

No, users look at where the other person is on the screen; not at the camera. So reprojection can be done to a known point of view.

IIRC, hololens does some of the reprojection magic already.

It's hurting my brain to think about this. Surely if you aren't looking into the lens then your eyes will not appear as if they are looking at the person since the lens's perspective is the source for the projection on the other side.

Like, if I take a picture of myself with a camera and look directly into the lens then my eyes are pointing directly forward. If I now continue looking at that same point but move the camera up on a step-ladder, the image I am going to get would not have my eyes aligning directly into the camera. How do you get around that?

Yes, and there are already AI/Machine learning solutions for this problem. The paper detailing this must be a few years old already.

I love such devices. However, similiar to smartphones they depend so much on the software, and Microsoft is not too known for interoperability. How can my Linux and Mac OS X colleagues participate and contribute in the meetings? Such tools need open platforms and communities which build them.

I'm especially concerned because Microsoft stopped the support for a native Linux Skype client.

I can't say anything about this new system.

But I think in general Microsoft isn't that bad for cross-platform nowadays. On MacOS I have Office, Skype, Onedrive, etc. And I can access my documents on phones via mobile clients. The tools are all weaker than the Windows versions, but I think they mostly get the job done and are getting better over time.

Can't comment on pure Linux support, but would understand if it's lacking due to the smaller user-base.

Microsoft definitely has been moving towards a more cross platform software suite. My biggest issue is that Skype is by far the worst video calling platform. Zoom and BlueJeans long since surpassed hangouts, and even hangouts is better than Skype. I saw another hn commenter mention that all of their skype calls begin with 10 minutes of handshaking - "can you hear me? let me restart my computer. hold on my mic isn't being recognized" - and I think 10 minutes is generously low.

completely anecdotal, but I just interviewed a candidate for an open position at my employer yesterday via skype. His laptop in Ohio to our conference room in California. Went off without a hitch (except my colleague couldn't figure out how to hang up -- "It's the big red icon there ... no the red one ... the red one"). Our equipment was a basic PC running Win7 and a HD web cam resting on top of a wall-mounted 70" LCD television.

Is that Skype or Skype for Business (which is just a rebranded Lync, which is just a rebranded Office Communicator)?

In any case, as the site mentions, the new Hub is exclusively for Teams, which has its own conferencing system.

Good question, and I have no idea. The conferencing system in meeting rooms was managed by a facilities team. Probably it was Skype for Business, given that?

Now we're all using Zoom and it's much smoother. /anecdote

For Skype for Business meetings they have a chrome plugin now. It requires you to download an MSI to install. Haven't figured out how to do that in Linux.

Note that Microsoft are in the process of deprecating Skype for Business altogether (https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/25/16360072/microsoft-teams-...) in favor of Teams (their Slack-like online tool).

Teams has voice?

Yep. And video and screen sharing. It's pretty good.

The chrome support is still a bit lacking, so Linux users are second class citizens for now. But it's improving steadily.

I'd be greatly surprised if there's any Linux support at all. Microsoft supports macOS, iOS, and Android these days not because they care about interoperability, but because Microsoft needs users on these platforms. If Microsoft cared about interop. for the sake of anyone except Microsoft, OOXML wouldn't be crap, and their office suite wouldn't be crippling ODF files on save.

Microsoft has a much longer (and quite colourful) history of not-supporting and breaking interop.

VSCode, Teams, Skype, (Office 365 using browser) are available on all platforms including Linux.

Why do you think OOXML is crap or that Office "cripples" ODF files on save?


teams is a web app and the desktop variant is built on top of electron. you can download it for mac https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads or use teams.microsoft.com on linux.

Nadella seems to have changed from Balmer's "software on Windows" to the current "software with Windows". I know that their have been making better Android and iOS compatibility.

However, I would guess that they would still be aggressive against other desktop OSs.

Re—organizing the windows os under the cloud services division felt like it really spoke to the software with windows vision

That's my big gripe with this. I'm not a huge fan of anything from Microsoft, but these look VERY cool. However, we're a big Mac/iOS shop, so interoperability would be a concern. And, I'm afraid, non-existant.

Very creative, and cool, but a part of me cringes thinking of people touching those displays with their greasy fingers...

What makes me cringe is the thought of trying to answer the video call which Skype proceeds to drop and you spend 15+ minutes trying to reconnect with the caller which leads to you just using the old fashion conference telephone sitting on the table.

I know Skype has its problems, but trust me as someone that went from working for a Microsoft Office 365 based company to a Google GSuite based company that Hangouts is not much better. Drops are common among other strange bugs.

Is business Skype that bad? I gather it was a separate product (Lync) that they later decided to slap a Skype logo on.

We have had pretty good (albeit not perfect) experience with Skype for Business over the last few years. We use it with Office 365 and the Cloud PBX, so we don't have any PBX/POTS or server hardware in our office, and we haven't had many issues with connectivity, especially in the past year or so. The meetings work very well, the PBX functionality works great, presence is a huge plus across all the Office products, and the ability to federate communications and presence with other businesses has been great for our consulting business. And paired with low-cost Polycom phones on the desk, the hardware/software combination is excellent and the value is truly there. It's not without its flaws, though: IMs in particular often get lost when you have multiple devices (i.e. a message goes to your mobile and you don't see it on the desktop), the mobile apps (especially Android) are pretty horrid, and the future of merging with Teams makes things uncertain (although promising).

Yes, it is. They're trying to replace it with Teams, though, which is way better.

Lync was nice and actually worked pretty well. Last time I used Skype for business though, it was like they took out all the parts of Lync that worked well and replaced them with the worst parts of (non-business) Skype.

Lync was always unreliable with many issues. Then they slapped on a few skype interface horrors to make it a truly bad product.

Silicon Valley's satire rings true yet again: https://youtu.be/9YOEEpWAXgU

This is beautiful and the video really sells it (if walls aren’t like this in the near future then what is all of this for?). But is this “just” a large screen Windows computer running in kiosk (or whatever) mode? Could I get a classic windows desktop by hitting windows-d?

More information on this blogpost here: https://blogs.windows.com/devices/2018/05/15/meet-surface-hu...

The thing I liked the most was the person view in how it shows things in real life dimensions, seems much more "personable" to communicate across distances for teams, at least from a non-vr way.

Centuries will pass, technology will change, but one will still need someone else to open the next slide: https://youtu.be/7DbslbKsQSk?t=83

The portrait mode really looks interesting.

I'm having Apple iSight flashbacks. MS should just embed 4 cameras into the frame.

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