Microsoft has run into a few hurdles in its manufacturing process for its Surface Hub wall-mounted touchscreen and as a result, it now says it won't be able to ship them when it initially thought it could.
Redmond started taking preorders for the digital whiteboards on July 1, and in June it said it expected to start shipping them on September 1. It's since had a rethink.
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"We will not start shipping on September 1 now," said Brian Hall, Microsoft's Surface boss, in a blog post. "We'll have more details on our updated shipment schedule in early August. In the meantime, we will continue to take pre-orders."
And the reason for the delay? To hear Hall tell it, it's because Surface Hub is just too popular with customers.
Microsoft is manufacturing the enormo-slabs itself at a plant near Portland, Oregon. Because of the large number of preorders it has received, Hall said the tech giant will now need to rejigger its manufacturing processes to produce the devices "at broader scale."
He gave no specifics on which phase of the assembly line is causing the hold-up.
Redmond plans to ship two models of Surface Hub: a 55-inch version that retails for $7,000 and an 84-inch model for $20,000. Hall didn't say which version was selling the fastest.
It's been a long road to market for Surface Hub. Microsoft first got involved with the tech when it bought Perceptive Pixel in 2012.
In the same blog post, Hall also said Microsoft plans to expand its sales channel for its handheld Surface and Surface Pro fondleslabs. The company has "a few hundred partners" today, he said, but in the next few months it plans to grow that to "a few thousand globally," including retailers and systems integrators.
"This expansion of our partnerships is directly related to our optimism for much broader success that will come with the release of Windows 10," Hall said. The new OS is scheduled to start shipping as a free update to members of the Windows Insider program on July 29 and will roll out to home and business customers in phases. ®