Surface Hub 2S unshackled from bespoke Windows 10 to install what you want – just wash your hands first, yeah?
Enterprise, Pro versions of OS coming to Microsoft's jumped-up whiteboard
Microsoft is bringing Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro to the most sizeable of Surface devices, the Surface Hub 2S.
The 50-inch behemoth was designed for meeting rooms and runs its own bespoke version of Windows 10, Team. Announced back in 2018 as a replacement for the original Surface Hub, the Surface Hub 2 was eventually split into two products, bearing the Xbox-esque S and X branding.
The Surface Hub 2S finally launched in 2019 and we got our hands on one back in October of that year. While the Intel-powered hardware running the thing could charitably be described as middling (an i5 with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD) the 3840 x 2560 PixelSense screen was undeniably a pleasure to use even if one was shackled to the moribund Microsoft Store for apps.
The arrival of support for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise means that the restraints of the latter have been lifted and users may install Win32 apps willy-nilly (although we'd expect the administrators of organisations with pockets deep enough to equip meeting rooms with the things might have a thing or two to say about that).
Sadly, with the additional flexibility afforded by desktop Windows 10 comes the loss of one of the features of the
overpriced whiteboard collaboration portal: the ability to simply walk up and use the thing is gone, replaced by authentication methods such as Windows Hello.
Stating the obvious, Microsoft also notes putting a desktop OS on the thing makes it not "optimized for meeting spaces".
Still, using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise does instead open up some interesting kiosk possibilities.
Microsoft elected not to mention either the standalone Surface Hub 2 display (into which a user might plug their own gear rather than jump through the hoops needed to lead the 2S away from Windows 10 Team) or the missing-in-action Surface Hub 2X.
The 2X and plug-in upgrade for the 2S replete with the much-vaunted tiling and rotation capability were supposed to have shown up this year, but were quietly nudged to one side. Presumably into the same cupboard where the Surface Neo is hiding. ®