“We remain on track to ship Surface Hub in Q1,” says a Microsoft spokesman.
Dale Bottcher, senior VP of sales for AVI-SPL, says the confusion about the shipment date stems from quotes attributed to AVI-SPL EMEA sales director Will Hegan, noting any mention of a “delay” is tied to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the rest of the world, which Bottcher says are projected for six weeks after the U.S. release.
“This has been known for some time,” he says.
The Surface Hub units going outside the U.S. will be shipped on boats, says Bottcher “because of their size and logistical challenges.”
John Mitton, VP of AV and CTO for fellow launch partner Red Thread, agrees with Bottcher’s timeline.
“In general, this is consistent with what we were told,” he says. “USA markets will get first shipments in March, followed by other markets in April. Nothing has changed. That’s what we’re continuing to tell our customers.”
A Microsoft spokesman didn’t offer specifics about plans for Surface Hub beyond the first-quarter date for the U.S.
“We don’t have any additional timing, including market priority, beyond that at this time,” says the spokesman.
Based on information Bottcher has gathered, he believes the first shipments of Surface Hub are “imminent.” AVI-SPL was the only integrator to have a Surface Hub in its booth at ISE and Bottcher says the company is hoping to be able to fulfill the “hundreds of orders” it’s taken for it “shortly.”
The delays “have taken a little steam out of the excitement” for some, says Bottcher, but there remains “a lot of pent-up demand. I think it’s going to really take off.”
Despite the delays, interest remains “hot and heavy” in Surface Hub among Red Thread customers, says Mitton, noting the company has a mobile unit it’s been using for demos as it awaits the first shipments.
“They love what they see,” he says. “It’s a product you have to touch and experience to truly see what it can do.”