While Google is probably guilty of killing no small amount of apps and services, Microsoft may be notorious for killing popular dreams. That happened recently with the Windows 10 Mobile and, less recently, the Courier tablet concept. But long before these two, Microsoft was already making tech lovers drool with the Surface table. Microsoft didn’t kill the Surface name but used it instead for tablets with a “T”. Now it might be coming back full circle with a partnership that turns the biggest Surface into a makeshift but very expensive Surface Table.
The idea of a multi-touch table that could be used for collaboration and meetings isn’t exactly new, but the concept really picked up steam in the early 2000s when prototypes started to become available. Computer scientist Jeff Han would become the public face of a “multi-touch sensing” surface that would eventually get his startup acquired by Microsoft. The rest, as they say, is history.
Microsoft first used the Surface brand for its new line of 2-in-1 tablets but eventually expanded it to include laptops, all-in-one computers, and even headphones. The largest surface so far, however, is the Surface Hub and Hub 2S that are practically smart whiteboards. What if you could make that whiteboard lie horizontally flat? Well then you get a Surface Hub Table, of course!
Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton tweeted that exact same sweet setup with a Surface Hub 2 and a Salamander Design “Large Electric Lift Mobile Display Stand”. The difference with simply laying it flat on a table is that you can still use the Surface Hub normally as an upright board when you don’t feel like huddling over a table.
Just to dampen the excitement, this is, of course, a setup few will be able to afford. And since the Surface Hub was designed to be used as a board, its interface isn’t exactly conducive for horizontal purposes. At least the possibility is there, in case someone at Microsoft wants to make the software for it.