Windows 10 'Creators Update' Arriving for Surface Hub Devices
Microsoft announced today that it has rolled out the Windows 10 "creators update" for its Surface Hub collaboration devices.
The Windows 10 creators update, otherwise known as "version 1703," reached current-branch release status for Windows 10 PCs, tablets and laptops on April 11. Apparently, there's a separate release of the operating system for Surface Hub devices. Microsoft's history page for the Surface Hub's updates shows that the OS was updated twice this month, but no date is shown for the Windows 10 version 1703 release.
The Microsoft Surface Hub is a large-screen meeting room device (offered in 84-inch and 55-inch models) that's capable of white-boarding and videoconferencing (Skype for Business), as well as running various Office applications. Currently, more than half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Surface Hubs, according to Microsoft's announcement.
The use of the creators update adds some security options to the Surface Hub. For instance, organizations can require two-factor authentication for Surface Hub users. It's possible to set policies for data to be wiped by default at the end of a Surface Hub session. Another option is the ability to enforce "BitLocker encryption for USB ports" to ward off malware.
For end users, the creators update permits sign-in to personal accounts on the Surface Hub device. These signed-in users then have access to their Office 365 applications on the Surface Hub, including frequently accessed documents plus Microsoft Teams via the Edge browser. They also get access to their content stored on OneDrive, which is Microsoft's cloud-based storage service. Skype meetings on the Surface Hub now have a new "meetings carousel" feature that will show invitees.
The creators update also is bringing some technical improvements to the Surface Hub device. For instance, its audio experience was improved. Its Miracast projection capability was made "faster and more reliable." The Surface Hub now comes with "a 5-year extended hardware service," according to Microsoft's announcement, although the details weren't explained.
The most interesting improvement to the Surface Hub with the creators update is yet to come. Microsoft is promising inking improvements, including "real-time" coauthoring using its Whiteboard app on the Surface Hub, "starting in mid-June." The inking improvements to the Whiteboard app also will be coming to Surface Studio and Surface Pro Windows 10 PCs sometime "later this year," Microsoft promised.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.