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Microsoft says that it will be testing the Surface Hub 2 with select commercial customers this year, and the device would become available for purchase for everyone in 2019.

Announced Tuesday, Microsoft said the new 50.5-inch Surface Hub 2 will boast a "4K plus" display in the traditional 3:2 ratio of Surface devices. The Microsoft Surface Hub 2 also features a 4K webcam (which is removable and rotatable) and far-field microphones for a better video calling experience. Up to four of them can be "tiled", side-by-side (in portrait or landscape), with a different app or service running on each panel (as shown in Microsoft's video clip of the device, which is embedded in my post, below). Robin Seiler, Microsoft's general manager of hardware engineering, said that the main point of the new Surface Hub is on productivity.

Microsoft didn't talk about the internals of the device, although it's safe to assume that it's been upgraded from the current generations 4th-gen Intel "Haswell" processors.

Microsoft debuted the first-generation Surface Hub in January, 2015, at the remarkable event that also introduced the world to the HoloLens.

What this means to you: Like the original Surface Hub, don't expect to pick up the Surface Hub 2 from your local electronics store.

Of course, it was designed with Microsoft apps in mind, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365 and Windows 10 - it's not clear how other platforms will work beyond simply Skyping in.

It's a departure for the Surface Hub product line. I am not exactly sure what Microsoft considers to be a competitive device.

Surface Hub 1's operating system is called "Windows 10 Team" and based on Windows 10 Enterprise, but customized with some features unique to the device. The company even went all out with the Surface Hub three years back and chose to announce a touch screen the size of a blackboard.

Seiler said "dynamic collaboration" is what will set the Surface Hub 2 apart from other similar devices.

"Surface Hub 2 was designed from the ground up to be used by teams - to get people out of their seats, to connect and ideate, regardless of location". Rather, the ability to switch from landscape to portrait via a hinge will prove as a huge attraction, according to Microsoft. Microsoft says it will bring as much Surface Hub 2 software functionality as is possible to the previous generation Hubs.

So far, Microsoft is keeping pricing and technical details under wraps.