Microsoft’s Office of the Future Seems to Be Missing Something

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Where’s the voice control?

Story by Christina Bonnington, Slate

Microsoft, best known for its software, still manages to churn out a beautiful piece of hardware every once in a while. On the portable side, products like its Microsoft Surface Laptop show that the company still has a keen sense of design and a knack for developing products for the modern era. The larger Surface Studio does the same for the desktop.

Now, the company’s just-announced Surface Hub 2 promises to be a sleek, extra-large addition to the office boardroom when it begins shipping next year. The Hub 2, a more affordable follow-up to the original 2016 Surface Hub, is a 50.5-inch touchscreen display ringed by only the most slender of black bezels. The device, which is designed for collaborative use on a wall or stand, can be rotated in landscape or portrait mode, with a detachable 4K camera for transforming the screen into a life-size video chatting platform. Its demo video highlights an impressive array of swiping, drawing, and dragging-and-dropping reminiscent of the seminal 2002 sci-fi film Minority Report. It “really feels like the company’s vision of the future is becoming a reality,” the Verge writes of the new product. But there also appears to be something missing—something big.

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