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Microsoft's collaboration software Teams works on its collaboration hardware Surface Hub
Coming soon to a massive jumped-up whiteboard near you
Microsoft has finally made its Teams collaborative software available for the big-bastard-screen Surface Hub.
The Microsoft Teams app has been in preview for a few months, available to those brave enough to add its jumped-up whiteboard to the Windows Insider programme. Now, assuming you've kept your Surface Hub relatively up to date, you too can share in the fun.
It has taken a while because the version of the Windows 10 OS used by the Surface Hub is a different beast to that found on desktops. The user interface, for example, runs a shell geared for prodding in a meeting room. The lock screen is replaced by a welcome screen and user sign-in is a very different experience, since users only sign into their apps, meetings or files rather than the device itself.
Tardiness aside, the timing is interesting as Surface Hub 2 is just around the corner.
The Surface Hub version of Windows 10 (Team Edition) is 1703, aka the Creators Update, and to get hold of the Team apps you will need to have the latest update applied, KB4343889, which took the build to 15063.1292 and specifically added support for Microsoft Teams.
The app ups the usefulness of the costly Surface Hub for those who have bought into Microsoft's ecosystem (and to be frank, there is little point in owning one of the gigantiscreens if you haven't) by introducing the "Teams meeting experience", allowing one-touch join and up to four incoming video streams, all sharing the same content.
Skype for Business was previously the principle way of communicating using the Hub and the arrival of Teams is yet another sign that maybe, just maybe, the platform's days are numbered. Microsoft is certainly keen that Skype for Business users consider a migration. However, recognising that dropping Skype just to join a Teams meeting isn't going to fly straightaway, Microsoft has offered users three options.
The first leaves things alone, using Skype for Business primarily. The second adds a Call button for Microsoft Teams on the Welcome Screen and replaces Skype for Business with Teams on the Start Menu but will still launch the Skype client for Skype meetings.
The last does away with Skype entirely, and is really only for those who have gone all-in with Teams. ®