Surface Pro 7+ joins the Surface for Business portfolio – offering the versatility, connectivity and security that business and educational institutions need to adapt to the changing landscape. Additionally, Surface Hub 2S 85” will begin shipping broadly to business and education customers in select markets later this month.The year 2020 brought one of the biggest accelerations of digital transformation in our lifetime. Across industries, the shift to remote and hybrid productivity was a tipping point to redefine the future of how we work, collaborate and learn outside physical office spaces or classrooms. We have seen a significant increase in the reliance on technology to keep organizations connected. In the past year, Surface usage within enterprise organizations nearly doubled driven by strong growth in the use of collaboration and productivity apps to maintain business continuity. Today, we are pleased to share the next step in our journey to support our business and education customers with the introduction of Surface Pro 7+ for Business. And to help organizations bridge the digital and physical divide in today’s hybrid spaces, we’re beginning to ship Surface Hub 2S 85” broadly in select markets later this month.
What we have learned in the last yearAs a company, we are committed to designing technology that fosters productivity, creativity and connection to empower people to be successful wherever they work and learn. We have spoken at length with many of our customers in the last year, listening to their journeys into remote everything. These discussions, combined with extensive commissioned research and the work done by our research team, have helped us understand their rapidly evolving needs. This is a critical part of our development process – ensuring business and education customer voices are not only heard but brought directly into our product development. We found four key learnings during these conversations and research:
- The future of working and learning is hybrid and requires more flexibility: Views on remote work have changed: 82% of managers say they will have more flexible work from home policies post pandemic, and 71% of employees want to continue work from home at least part time. And while more people are working and learning from home, they are facing new physical space constraints as well as distractions that can interfere with productivity. People are sharing spaces throughout their home and are moving locations more throughout their days to stay productive and accommodate others.
- Connectivity is critical to uninterrupted business operations: Poor internet performance at home is a new challenge many are facing. With multiple people in a household now connecting from home, it is putting a strain on bandwidth – where people are using their cell phones more often as hot spots for online meetings due to poor internet connectivity.
- Camera to camera is the new face to face: Connection to one another is an area that arguably has felt the most challenging – people are missing the energy and connection that was attained when we could be together in a room physically. People are now relying on their device’s cameras, screens, speakers and microphones to be seen and heard. We have learned through our research that people are feeling more empathetic to one another now, that through the lens of a video call they have a better view of life at home and even feel more valued and included as a remote contributor in meetings with everyone being in the same virtual room.
- End to end security from chip to cloud is more critical than ever before: Rapid digitization means almost everything has gone online. Organizations need their data and workflows to be secure to enable remote and hybrid work. Devices need end to end security features to enable the productivity needed to maintain business continuity.
Surface Pro 7+ for Business – Purpose-built for business and education customersWhen we first introduced Surface Pro, we wanted to challenge the concept that people should not have to choose between the portability and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a traditional laptop. In the last seven years, Surface Pro has become known for its versatility, power and performance, brilliant touch screen, pen capabilities and great battery life. It is by far our most widely adopted Surface device across business and education customers.
Surface Hub 2S 85” begins shipping broadly this monthAs organizations plan for a hybrid return to work, many are recognizing the importance of large screen, collaborative devices like Surface Hub. Today, we’re excited to share that Surface Hub 2S 85” will begin shipping to business and education customers broadly in select markets later this month.
Security, deployment and manageability by designAs more people connect to the internet and work and learn from home, organizations are witnessing increasingly sophisticated and targeted attacks. At the same time organizations need agility to deploy devices directly to people’s homes and manage devices running on home networks securely, without having to physically touch devices. For the first time, Surface Pro 7+ ships with Windows Enhanced Hardware Security features enabled out of the box. We are excited to see such great boosts in both performance and battery while enabling robust Device Protection features. Customers can have peace of mind in knowing they get great security without compromising employee or student experiences. Surface devices can be managed and updated through the cloud from the first moment the device is turned on and throughout the device lifecycle without IT having to physically touch the device. This helps protect identities and defend against malicious drivers and supply chain attacks. We accomplish this through tight integration between the UEFI (modern BIOS), firmware, and the Windows operating system stack. We have shared our implementation of the Microsoft UEFI as open source on GitHub as Project Mu. Remote deployment is also critical in a hybrid work environment. Surface devices use the latest Microsoft deployment capabilities like Windows Autopilot to enable devices to ship directly from the factory to people’s homes and be ready to go with security policies, applications and settings applied. Windows Autopilot gets people online, connected and productive as quickly as possible, and eliminates time consuming re-imaging and manual device set up for IT departments. “Automatically deploying devices in people’s homes without the need for a technician was a great advantage for us and saved countless hours,” says Peter Jamieson, Chief Technology Officer & Director of Digital Transformation, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “It allowed us to get up and running quickly to meet the mandate for the department. We are proof that you can run a government department from employees’ homes." Finally, we know it is important for customers to be in control of their data. Surface Pro 7+ will also feature a removable SSD for data retention, to support the security and privacy needs of business and educational organizations. This feature, combined with Microsoft BitLocker protection, makes it easy for customers to retain sensitive data if something happens to their device.