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Microsoft launches Surface Hub pre-orders

The devices will start from $6,999, although the 84-inch interactive screen will cost $19,999

Man pointing to a screen on the wall of a boardroom with his colleagues sitting at the table

Microsoft has opened pre-orders for the Microsoft Surface Hub, allowing businesses to pay a deposit in order to be first in line for the super-sized smart screen.

The Microsoft Surface Hub comes in two sizes - 55-inch, which will set you back $6,999 or $19,999 for the 84-inch Hub - and is designed to be a computer, whiteboard and video conference tool in one.

It runs on Windows 10 and will come preloaded with a selection of tools to help companies get it up and running, including Skype, Office and OneNote. Users can 'write' on the digital whiteboard and share the notes with everyone in the meeting. They can use Office to present to others or have a video conference with employees around the world using Skype.

"Microsoft Surface Hub reimagines the meeting experience so that you can unlock the power of the group. You can walk up and join a Skype for Business meeting with a single tap, and share content effortlessly, so that you spend your time connecting to people rather than technology. And since you can easily send meeting notes and content, you can communicate outcomes and action points," Microsoft said.

Microsoft said the Surface Hub will reduce the cost of AV equipment for companies. Research by the company said the average business spends around $38,000 on tools for conference rooms seating 8-12 people. Even for rooms accommodating 3-4 people, costs can mount up to $21,000, making the Surface Hub a much cheaper option.

The Microsoft Surface Hub can be purchased from a number of Microsoft partners and it's due to start shipping the units in September.

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